Energy level alignment of Cu(In, Ga)(S, Se)(2) absorber compounds with In2S3, NaIn5S8, and CuIn5S8Cd-free buffer materials
Journal article, 2019

Motivated by environmental reasons, In2S3 is a promising candidate for a Cd-free buffer layer in Cu(In, Ga)(S, Se)(2) (CIGSSe)-based thin-film solar cells. For an impactful optimization of the In-2 S-3 alternative buffer layer, however, a comprehensive knowledge of its electronic properties across the absorber-buffer interface is of foremost importance. In this respect, finding a favorable band offset between the absorber and the buffer layers can effectively reduce the carrier recombination at the interface and improve open-circuit voltage and fill factor, leading to higher conversion efficiencies. In this study, we investigate the band alignment between the most common CIGSSe-based absorber compounds and In2S3. Furthermore, we consider two chemically modified indium sulfide layers, NaIn(5)S(8 )and CuIn5S8, and we discuss how the formation of these secondary phases influences band discontinuity across the interface. Our analysis is based on density functional theory calculations using hybrid functionals. The results suggest that Ga-based absorbers form a destructive clifflike conduction-band offset (CBO) with both pure and chemically modified buffer systems. For In-based absorbers, however, if the absorber layer is Cu-poor at the surface, a modest favorable spikelike CBO arises with NaIn5S8 and CuIn5S8.

Density functional theory

Carrier recombination

Binary alloys

Indium sulfide


Elaheh Ghorbani

Technische Universität Darmstadt

Paul Erhart

Chalmers, Physics, Materials and Surface Theory

Karsten Albe

Technische Universität Darmstadt


2475-9953 (ISSN)

Vol. 3 7 075401

Subject Categories

Inorganic Chemistry

Materials Chemistry

Condensed Matter Physics



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