Processing of semiconductors and thin film solar cells using electroplating.

MADUGU, Mohammad Lamido. (2016). Processing of semiconductors and thin film solar cells using electroplating. Doctoral, Sheffield Hallam University (United Kingdom)..

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The global need for a clean, sustainable and affordable source of energy has triggered extensive research especially in renewable energy sources. In this sector, photovoltaic has been identified as a cheapest, clean and reliable source of energy. It would be of interest to obtain photovoltaic material in thin film form by using simple and inexpensive semiconductor growth technique such as electroplating. Using this growth technique, four semiconductor materials were electroplated on glass/fluorine-doped tin oxide (FTO) substrate from aqueous electrolytes. These semiconductors are indium selenide (In[x]Sey), zinc sulphide (ZnS), cadmium sulphide (CdS) and cadmium telluride (CdTe). In[x]Se[y] and ZnS were incorporated as buffer layers while CdS and CdTe layers were utilised as window and absorber layers respectively. All materials were grown using two-electrode (2E) system except for CdTe which was grown using 3E and 2E systems for comparison. To fully optimise the growth conditions, the as-deposited and annealed layers from all the materials were characterised for their structural, morphological, optical, electrical and defects structures using X-ray diffraction (XRD), Raman spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), atomic force microscopy (AFM), optical absorption (UV-Vis spectroscopy), photoelectrochemical (PEC) cell measurements, current-voltage (I-V), capacitance-voltage (C-V), DC electrical measurements, ultraviolet photoelectron spectroscopy (UPS) and photoluminescence (PL) techniques. Results show that InxSey and ZnS layers were amorphous in nature and exhibit both n-type and p-type in electrical conduction. CdS layers are n-type in electrical conduction and show hexagonal and cubic phases in both the as-deposited and after annealing process. CdTe layers show cubic phase structure with both n-type and p-type in electrical conduction. CdTe-based solar cell structures with a n-n heterojunction plus large Schottky barrier, as well as multi-layer graded bandgap solar cells were fabricated. This means that the solar cells investigated in this thesis were not the conventional p-n junction type solar cells. The conventional cadmium chloride (CdCl[2] or CC) treatment was applied to the structures to produce high performance devices; however, by modifying the treatment to include cadmium chloride and cadmium fluoride (CdCl[2]+CdF[2] or CF) device performance could be improved further. The fabricated devices were characterised using I-V and C-V measurement techniques. The highest cell efficiency achieved in this research was -10%, with an open circuit voltage of 640 mV, short-circuit current density of 38.1 mAcm[-2], fill factor of 0.41 and doping concentration of 2.07x1016 cm3. These parameters were obtained for the glass/FTO/n-In[x]Se[y]/n-CdS/n-CdTe/Au solar cell structure.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Thesis advisor - Dharmadasa, I
Thesis advisor - Nabok, Aleksey [0000-0002-9078-1757]
Additional Information: Thesis (Ph.D.)--Sheffield Hallam University (United Kingdom), 2016.
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Sheffield Hallam Doctoral Theses
Depositing User: EPrints Services
Date Deposited: 10 Apr 2018 17:20
Last Modified: 03 May 2023 02:06

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