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CIGS2 Thin-Film Solar Cells on Flexible Foils for Space PowerCuIn(1-x)Ga(x)S2 (CIGS2) thin-film solar cells are of interest for space power applications because of the near optimum bandgap for AM0 solar radiation in space. CIGS2 thin film solar cells on flexible stainless steel (SS) may be able to increase the specific power by an order of magnitude from the current level of 65 Wkg(sup -1). CIGS solar cells are superior to the conventional silicon and gallium arsenide solar cells in the space radiation environment. This paper presents research efforts for the development of CIGS2 thin-film solar cells on 127 micrometers and 20 micrometers thick, bright-annealed flexible SS foil for space power. A large-area, dual-chamber, inline thin film deposition system has been fabricated. The system is expected to provide thickness uniformity of plus or minus 2% over the central 5" width and plus or minus 3% over the central 6" width. During the next phase, facilities for processing larger cells will be acquired for selenization and sulfurization of metallic precursors and for heterojunction CdS layer deposition both on large area. Small area CIGS2 thin film solar cells are being prepared routinely. Cu-rich Cu-Ga/In layers were sputter-deposited on unheated Mo-coated SS foils from CuGa (22%) and In targets. Well-adherent, large-grain Cu-rich CIGS2 films were obtained by sulfurization in a Ar: H2S 1:0.04 mixture and argon flow rate of 650 sccm, at the maximum temperature of 475 C for 60 minutes with intermediate 30 minutes annealing step at 120 C. Samples were annealed at 500 C for 10 minutes without H2S gas flow. The intermediate 30 minutes annealing step at 120 C was changed to 135 C. p-type CIGS2 thin films were obtained by etching the Cu-rich layer segregated at the surface using dilute KCN solution. Solar cells were completed by deposition of CdS heterojunction partner layer by chemical bath deposition, transparent-conducting ZnO/ZnO: Al window bilayer by RF sputtering, and vacuum deposition of Ni/Al contact fingers through metal mask. PV parameters of a CIGS2 solar cell on 127 micrometers thick SS flexible foil measured under AM 0 conditions at NASA GRC were: V(sub oc) = 802.9 mV, J(sub sc) = 25.07 mA per square centimeters, FF = 60.06%, and efficiency 0 = 8.84%. For this cell, AM 1.5 PV parameters measured at NREL were: V(sub oc) = 788 mV, J(sub sc) = 19.78 mA per square centimeter, FF = 59.44%, efficiency 0 = 9.26%. Quantum efficiency curve showed a sharp QE cutoff equivalent to CIGS2 bandgap of approximately 1.50 eV, fairly close to the optimum value for efficient AM0 PV conversion in the space.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Glenn Research Center
Document Type
Conference Paper
Dhere, Neelkanth G.
(Florida Solar Energy Center Cocoa, FL United States)
Ghongadi, Shantinath R.
(Florida Solar Energy Center Cocoa, FL United States)
Pandit, Mandar B.
(Florida Solar Energy Center Cocoa, FL United States)
Jahagirdar, Anant H.
(Florida Solar Energy Center Cocoa, FL United States)
Scheiman, David
(Ohio Aerospace Inst. Cleveland, OH United States)
Date Acquired
September 7, 2013
Publication Date
October 1, 2002
Publication Information
Publication: 17th Space Photovoltaic Research and Technology Conference
Subject Category
Spacecraft Propulsion And Power
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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