The effects of post-annealing process on the physical properties of silver-indium-selenium ternary semiconductor thin films deposited by electron beam technique

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2009
Çolakoğlu, Tahir
Ternary chalcopyrite compounds are the semiconductors with suitable properties to be used as absorber materials in thin film solar cells. AgInSe2 is a promising candidate with its several advantages over the widely used CuInSe2. The purpose of this study was to optimize the physical properties of the Ag-In-Se (AIS) thin films that were deposited by e-beam evaporation of Ag3In5Se9 single crystal powder for solar cell applications by means of post-annealing process under nitrogen atmosphere. The as-grown AIS thin films were annealed at 200, 300 and 400oC and their structural, optical, electrical and photoelectrical properties were examined to observe the effects of post-annealing process. Structural characterization of the films was performed by X-ray diffraction (XRD), energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and atomic force microscopy (AFM) analyses. Optical properties of the films were investigated by optical transmittance measurements. Electrical and photoelectrical properties of the films were examined by temperature dependent conductivity, photoconductivity under different illumination intensities and spectral photoresponse measurements. It was discovered that the annealing of AIS thin films at 200oC resulted in the best physical properties for solar cell applications. The obtained films were polycrystalline with mixed binary and ternary crystalline phases, such as Ag3In5Se9, AgInSe2 and InSe, and showed n-type conductivity with room temperature conductivity value of 2.3x10-6 (Ohm­ cm)-1. The band gap energy of the 200oC-annealed films was determined as 1.68 eV from spectral photoresponse measurements. The results of the study revealed that the inadequate Ag incorporation and segregation and/or reevaporation of Se atoms at high annealing temperatures were the major problems encountered in producing single phase polycrystalline AgInSe2 thin films. The required stoichiometry of thin films should be maintained during the growth of the films by means of an alternative deposition procedure and the films should be selenized during post-annealing process.

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Citation Formats
T. Çolakoğlu, “The effects of post-annealing process on the physical properties of silver-indium-selenium ternary semiconductor thin films deposited by electron beam technique,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2009.