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Importance of CdS buffer layer thickness on Cu2ZnSnS4-based solar cell efficiency
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Cu2ZnSnS4 (CZTS) thin films were grown on Mo-coated soda lime glass (SLG) substrates by the sulfurization of DC magnetron-sputtered Zn, Sn and Cu metallic precursors under a sulfur atmosphere at 550 °C for 45 min. Understanding the composition and structure of the CZTS absorber layer is necessary to obtain efficient solar cells. With this aim, x-ray diffractometry, Raman spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy, energy dispersive spectroscopy and x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy were used to investigate the CZTS absorber layers. CZTS absorber films were obtained and found to be Cu-poor and Zn-rich in composition, which are both qualities desired for efficient solar cells. CdS was used as a buffer layer and was grown by the chemical bath deposition technique. The optical properties of CdS films on SLG were searched for using a spectroscopic ellipsometer and the results revealed that the bandgap increases with film thickness increment. CZTS-based solar cells with different CdS buffer layer thicknesses were prepared using a SLG/Mo/CZTS/CdS/ZnO/AZO solar cell configuration. The influence of the CdS buffer layer thickness on the performance of the CZTS solar cells was investigated. Device analysis showed that electrical characteristics of solar cells strongly depend on the buffer layer's thickness. Highly pronounced changes in V OC, fill factor and J SC parameters, which are the main efficiency limiting factors, with changing buffer layer thicknesses were observed. Our experiments confirmed that decreasing the CdS thickness improved the efficiency of CZTS solar cells down to the lowest thickness limit.