In situ monitoring the growth of thin-film ZnS/Zn(S,O) bilayer on Cu-chalcopyrite for high performance thin film solar cells

R. Sáez-Araoz, D. Abou-Ras, T. P. Niesen, A. Neisser, K. Wilchelmi, M. Ch Lux-Steiner, A. Ennaoui

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Citations (Scopus)


This paper highlights the crucial role that the control of the chemical bath deposition (CBD) process plays for buffer production of Cu-chalcopyrite solar-cell devices. ZnS/Zn(S,O) bilayer was deposited on CuInS2 (CIS) and Cu(In,Ga)(SSe)2 (CIGSSe) and monitored using turbidity measurements of the solution. The results were correlated to the X-ray photoemission spectra of the samples obtained by interruption of the process at sequential stages. Two different feature regimes were distinguished: In the first stage, a heterogeneous reaction takes place on the absorber resulting in the formation of pure ZnS. The second stage of the process is homogeneous, and the in-situ turbidity measurement shows a loss in the transmission of light through the CBD solution. The measured ZnL3M45M45 Auger-peaks, during this second stage of the process, show a shift of the kinetic energy from pure ZnS to a solid-solution ZnS/ZnO ("Zn(S,O)") with decreasing amount of sulfur. These results are supported by the observations from Energy-filtered transmission electron microscopy. This paper also demonstrates that monitoring of the CBD process combined with the basic understanding using surface and interface analysis have contributed to improve the reproducibility and to enhance the photovoltaic performance of Cu-chalcopyrite thin-film solar modules.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2300-2304
Number of pages5
JournalThin Solid Films
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2 Feb 2009



  • CIGSSe
  • CIS
  • In situ control
  • PV modules
  • ZnS/Zn(S,O) buffer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Materials Chemistry

Cite this