Metal chalcogenide-oxide composite coatings prepared by spray pyrolysis

Thakoor, A. P. ; Raj, Bodh ; Pandya, D. K. ; Chopra, K. L. (1981) Metal chalcogenide-oxide composite coatings prepared by spray pyrolysis Thin Solid Films, 83 (2). pp. 231-237. ISSN 0040-6090

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The spray pyrolysis technique has been employed to deposit composite coatings of chalcogenides of cadmium, zinc, lead and cobalt with oxides of aluminium, tin, lead, zinc and cobalt. Widely varying microstructural, electronic, optical and chemical properties have been obtained for such layers by monitoring the oxide composition, its spatial distribution and profile along the thickness. The large area chalcogenide-oxide composite films prepared by this technique are eminently suited for photovoltaic energy conversion, photothermal energy conversion and voltage-dependent resistor (Varistor) applications. In this paper we report our studies on co-pyrolytically deposited CdS:Al2O3 and CdS:SnO2 layers and their application to improved thin film solar cells. Each of the oxides is insoluble in CdS and is segregated at the grain boundaries in the deposited films. Small amounts (less than 10%) of oxide in CdS are found to reduce its grain size negligibly and to make the film more compact, hard, adherent and less susceptible to chemical attack. The altered microstructure modifies the surface topography of the CdS film from a pebble-like roughness to an improved void-free serpentine texture. Segregated oxide in CdS does not affect the optical band gap of the films, although the composites exhibit enhanced diffuse optical scattering. Large area CdS films with a gradient profile of oxide have been utilized to fabricate thin film CdS/Cu2S solar cells. The growth (length and distribution) of Cu2S fingers and/or curtains deep into the top CdS layers during the topotaxial conversion reaction of chemiplating is controlled by the presence of oxide along the grain boundaries. This has not only resulted in improved interface topography for better carrier collection and reduced shunt losses but has also enabled us to decrease drastically the CdS film thickness necessary for the solar cells. Furthermore, the subsequent degradation of the junction via the well-known mechanism of the loss of copper from the Cu2S layer by diffusion into CdS is expected to be considerably reduced by the presence of the oxide gradient in the CdS layer.

Item Type:Article
Source:Copyright of this article belongs to Elsevier Science.
ID Code:22966
Deposited On:25 Nov 2010 13:45
Last Modified:28 May 2011 05:29

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