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Phys Rev Lett. 2010 Sep 10;105(11):116802. Epub 2010 Sep 8.

Direct evidence for a reduced density of deep level defects at grain boundaries of Cu(In,Ga)Se2 thin films.

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  • 1Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie, Hahn-Meitner-Platz 1, 14109 Berlin, Germany.


The unusual optoelectronic properties of chalcopyrite grain boundaries (GBs) have become the subject of an intense debate in recent years. In this work we investigate the defect density at GBs of Cu(In,Ga)Se2 by scanning tunneling spectroscopy. Contrary to our expectation, our results give evidence for a reduced density of deep level defects and point to an increased density of defect levels in resonance with the lower conduction band at GBs. Our findings imply low recombination activity at GBs, and thus can explain the low impact of GBs on the efficiency of chalcopyrite based solar cells.

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