Textured, doped, ZnO thin films produced by a new process for a-Si and CIGS solar cell application

S. Y. Guo, L. Sahoo, G. Sosale, A. E. Delahoy

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

11 Scopus citations


The properties of a transparent conductive oxide (TCO) used as a front electrode for thin-film solar cells and modules play a major role in determining the maximum attainable conversion efficiency. Doped ZnO is an important TCO that is widely used in amorphous/nanocrystalline silicon (a-Si/nc-Si) and CIGS thin-film solar cells. In the case of a-Si/nc-Si cells, the ZnO thin film should be textured to promote light trapping to increase the short-circuit current density Jsc. In this work, textured, aluminum-doped ZnO (ZnO:Al) thin films have been directly deposited by a sputtering-based method and without the need for post-deposition etching. The morphology, optical properties and electrical properties of the films have been studied. SEM micrographs show that feature sizes around 0.2 - 0.4μm have been achieved at a film thickness of 1μm, and that the morphology can be controlled by the deposition conditions. AFM images were analyzed to extract a set of topographic parameters (amplitude, spatial, and hybrid). The optical transmission, haze, and angle-resolved light scattering of the textured ZnO:Al films were measured and compared to properties of commercially-available textured SnO2:F thin films on glass. Higher haze and reduced absorption could be obtained with the textured ZnO:Al films. Hall effect measurements on these films yielded a carrier concentration and mobility of 2.75 × 1020Cm-3 and 24.1 cm 2/Vs, respectively. We also report that the use of these textured ZnO:Al films as the top TCO for CIGS solar cells results in reduced cell reflectance and increased Jsc. The novel deposition method provides a potential pathway to large area and cost effective production of a textured ZnO TCO for thin-film PV manufacturing operations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPhotovoltaic Cell and Module Technologies
StatePublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes
EventPhotovoltaic Cell and Module Technologies - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Aug 27 2007Aug 28 2007

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


OtherPhotovoltaic Cell and Module Technologies
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


  • Light scattering
  • Solar cell
  • Textured film
  • Topographic parameters
  • Transparent conductive oxide (TCO)
  • Zinc oxide


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