Transparent Conducting Oxides for Solar Cell Applications
Transparent conducting oxides (TCOs) are wide bandgap semiconductors (Eg ≥3.1 eV) whose properties strongly depend on stoichiometric deviations, such as oxygen deficiency, and on the nature and quantity of impurities trapped in the host lattice. Examples of TCOs include tin oxide (SnO2), indium tin oxide (In2O3), and zinc oxide (ZnO). The best-known application of TCOs in solar cells is their use as fore contacts. High-efficiency CdTe solar cells are generally grown in a superstrate configuration, where the CdTe/CdS stacks are deposited on TCO-coated glass substrates. Another development is an application of a TCO as a back electrical contact on CdTe, leading to bifacial CdTe solar cells, which can be illuminated from one or both sides.
In this chapter, a review of the properties of TCOs of potential use in solar cells was performed, with a focus on tin oxide and zinc oxide thin films. This focus is due to the fact that these two compounds in thin film forms are technologically important materials in photovoltaic cells. The electrical, optical, structural, compositional, and morphological properties of both of these compounds are discussed.
KeywordsTransparent conducting oxides Solar cells Fore contacts Tin oxide Zinc oxide
- 4.Hartnagel HL, Dawar AL, Jain AK, Jagadish C (1995) Semiconducting transparent thin films. Institute of Physics, PhiladelphiaGoogle Scholar
- 5.Costellamo JE (1992) Handbook of display technology. Academic, New YorkGoogle Scholar
- 10.Ikhmayies JS (2012) Properties of amorphous SnO2 thin films prepared by thermal evaporation. Int J Mater Chem 2(4):173–177Google Scholar
- 16.Ikhmayies SJ, Abu El-Haija NM, Ahmad-Bitar RN (2014) A comparison between different ohmic contacts for ZnO thin films. J Semicond 36(3): 033005-1-6Google Scholar
- 17.Ikhmayies SJ, Abu El-Haija NM, Ahmad-Bitar RN (2010) Characterization of undoped spray-deposited ZnO thin films of photovoltaic applications. Fluid Dyn Mater Process 6(2):165–178Google Scholar
- 18.Ikhmayies SJ, Abu El-Haija NM, Ahmad-Bitar RN (2010) The influence of annealing in nitrogen atmosphere on the electrical, optical and structural properties of spray-deposited ZnO thin films. Fluid Dyn Mater Process 6(2):219–232Google Scholar
- 19.Ikhmayies SJ, Abu El-Haija NM, Ahmad-Bitar RN (2010) Electrical and optical properties of ZnO:Al thin film prepared by the spray pyrolysis technique. Phys Scripta 81(1): art. no. 015703Google Scholar
<SimplePara><Emphasis Type="Bold">Open Access</Emphasis> This chapter is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.5/), which permits any noncommercial use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license and indicate if changes were made. </SimplePara> <SimplePara>The images or other third party material in this chapter are included in the chapter's Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the chapter's Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder.</SimplePara>