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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/27450

Title: Blistering of magnetron sputtered thin film CdTe devices
Authors: Kaminski, Piotr M.
Yilmaz, Sibel
Abbas, Ali
Bittau, Francesco
Bowers, Jake W.
Greenhalgh, R.C.
Walls, Michael
Keywords: CdTe
Thin film
Solar cell
Magnetron sputtering
Electron microscopy
Working gas
Issue Date: 2017
Publisher: IEEE
Citation: KAMINSKI, P.M. ... et al, 2017. Blistering of magnetron sputtered thin film CdTe devices. Presented at the 2017 44th IEEE Photovoltaics Specialist Conference (PVSC), Washington, DC, USA, 25th-30th June 2017.
Abstract: Magnetron sputtering is an industrially scalable technique for thin film deposition. It provides excellent coating uniformity and the deposition can be conducted at relatively low substrate temperatures. It is widely used in the manufacture of solar modules. However, its use for the deposition of thin film CdTe devices results in unusual problems. Blisters appear on the surface of the device and voids occur in the CdTe absorber. These problems appear after the cadmium chloride activation treatment. The voids often occur at the CdS/CdTe interface causing catastrophic delamination. This problem has been known for more than 25 years, but the mechanisms leading to blistering have not been understood. Using High Resolution Transmission Electron Microscopy we have discovered that during the activation process, argon trapped during the sputtering process diffuses in the lattice to form gas bubbles. The gas bubbles grow by agglomeration particularly at grain boundaries and at interfaces. The growth of the bubbles eventually leads to void formation and blistering.
Description: This paper is closed access until it is published.
Sponsor: The authors are grateful to UKERC for funding this work through the EPSRC grant (EP/N508433/1).
Version: Accepted for publication
URI: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/27450
Publisher Link: http://www.ieee-pvsc.org/PVSC44/
Appears in Collections:Closed Access (Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering)

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