• Stange, H.; Brunken, S.; Greiner, D.; Heinemann, M.D.; Yani, D.A.B.; Waegele, L.A.; Li, C.; Sanli, E.S.; Kahnt, M.; Schmidt, S.S.; Baecker, J.-P.; Kaufmann, C.A.; Klaus, M.; Scheer, R.; Genzel, C.; Mainz, R.: Stacking fault reduction during annealing in Cu-poor CuInSe2 thin film solar cell absorbers analyzed by in-situ XRD and grain growth modeling. Journal of Applied Physics 125 (2019), p. 035303/1-12

Open Access Version

Buried wurtzite structures composed by stacking faults of the {111} planes in zinc-blende and {112} planes in chalcopyrite structures can result in barriers for charge carrier transport. A precise understanding of stacking fault annihilation mechanisms is therefore crucial for the development of effective deposition processes. During co-evaporation of Cu(In,Ga)Se2 - a photovoltaic absorber material showing record efficiencies of up to 22.9% for thin film solar cells - a reduction of stacking faults occurs at the transition from a Cu-poor to a Cu-rich film composition, parallel to grain growth, which is suggesting that the two phenomena are coupled. Here, we show by in situ synchrotron X-ray diffraction during annealing of Cu-poor CuInSe2 thin films that stacking faults can be strongly reduced through annealing, without passing through a Cu-rich film composition. We simulate the evolution of the X-ray diffraction stacking fault signal with a simple numerical model of grain growth driven by stacking fault energy and grain boundary curvature. The results support the hypothesis that the stacking fault reduction can be explained by grain growth. The model is used to make predictions on annealing times and temperatures required for stacking fault reduction and could be adapted for polycrystalline thin films with similar morphology.