How does CIGS performance depend on temperature at the microscale?

Michael E. Stuckelberger, Tara Nietzold, Bradley West, Rouin Farshchi, Dmitry Poplavskyy, Jeff Bailey, Barry Lai, Jorg M. Maser, Mariana Bertoni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Unveiling the correlation among electrical performance, elemental distribution, and defects at the microscale is crucial for the understanding and improvement of the overall solar cell performance. While this is true in general for solar cells with polycrystalline absorber layers, it is particularly critical for defect engineering of the complex quaternary CuInxGa1-xSe2 (CIGS) material system. Studying these relationships under standard ambient conditions can provide important insights but does not provide input on the behavior of the cell under real operating conditions. In this contribution, we take a close look at the complex temperature dependence of defects and voltage in CIGS at the microscale. We have developed correlative X-raymicroscopymethods and adapted them for temperature-dependent measurements of the locally generated voltage and elemental compositions at the microscale. We have applied these techniques to industrial CIGS solar cells covering temperatures from room temperature up to 100 .C. We find underperforming areas spanning multiple grains that do not correlate with the elemental distribution of major absorber constituents. However, we demonstrate that low-performing areas perform better at higher temperatures relative to the high-performing areas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)278-287
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Journal of Photovoltaics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2018


  • Beam damage
  • CuInGaSe (CIGS)
  • Microscale
  • Solar cells
  • X-ray beam induced voltage (XBIV)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'How does CIGS performance depend on temperature at the microscale?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this