Draw-spun, photonically annealed Ag fibers as alternative electrodes for flexible CIGS solar cells

Liu, Y.; Zeder, S.; Lin, S.; Carron, R.; Grossmann, G.; Bolat, S.; Nishiwaki, S.; Clemens, F.; Graule, T.; Tiwari, A. N.; et al.

Adv. Mater. 20 (1), 26-34. , (2019)


We explore the feasibility of Ag fiber meshes as electron transport layer for high-efficiency flexible Cu(In,Ga)Se2 (CIGS) solar cells. Woven meshes of Ag fibers after UV illumination and millisecond flash-lamp treatment results in a sheet resistance of 17 Ω/sq and a visible transmittance above 85%. Conductive Ag meshes are integrated into flexible CIGS cells as transparent conductive electrode (TCE) alone or together with layers of Al-doped ZnO (AZO) with various thickness of 0...900 nm. The Ag mesh alone is not able to function as a current collector. If used together with a thin AZO layer (50 nm), the Ag mesh markedly improves the fill factor and cell efficiency, in spite of the adverse mesh shadowing. When Ag mesh is combined with thicker (200 nm or 900 nm) AZO layers, no improvements in photovoltaic parameters are obtained. When comparing a hybrid TCE consisting of 50 nm AZO and Ag fiber mesh with a thick 900 nm reference AZO device, an improved charge carrier collection in the near-infrared range is observed. Regardless of the AZO thickness, the presence of Ag mesh slows down cell degradation upon mechanical tensile stress, which could be interesting for implementation into flexible thin film CIGS modules.