Plasma-Enhanced Atomic Layer Deposition of TiN Thin Films as an Effective Se Diffusion Barrier for CIGS Solar Cells

Nanomaterials (Basel). 2021 Feb 2;11(2):370. doi: 10.3390/nano11020370.


Plasma-enhanced atomic layer deposition (PEALD) of TiN thin films were investigated as an effective Se diffusion barrier layer for Cu (In, Ga) Se2 (CIGS) solar cells. Before the deposition of TiN thin film on CIGS solar cells, a saturated growth rate of 0.67 Å/cycle was confirmed using tetrakis(dimethylamido)titanium (TDMAT) and N2 plasma at 200 °C. Then, a Mo (≈30 nm)/PEALD-TiN (≈5 nm)/Mo (≈600 nm) back contact stack was fabricated to investigate the effects of PEALD-TiN thin films on the Se diffusion. After the selenization process, it was revealed that ≈5 nm-thick TiN thin films can effectively block Se diffusion and that only the top Mo layer prepared on the TiN thin films reacted with Se to form a MoSe2 layer. Without the TiN diffusion barrier layer, however, Se continuously diffused along the grain boundaries of the entire Mo back contact electrode. Finally, the adoption of a TiN diffusion barrier layer improved the photovoltaic efficiency of the CIGS solar cell by approximately 10%.

Keywords: CIGS solar cells; Se diffusion barrier; TiN; plasma-enhanced atomic layer deposition.