Study of the influence of an SnO2 electron selective layer integration by ALD in perovskite-based solar cells

Felix Gayot
Language of the thesis
Thesis name in original language
Etude de l'influence d'une intégration par ALD d'une couche sélective d'électrons en SnO2 dans les cellules photovoltaïques à base de pérovskite
Abstract & Cover

Perovskite (Pvk) solar cells and Pvk/silicon (Si) tandem solar cells are emerging photovoltaics (PV) technologies. In the last decade, their power conversion efficiency have reached 25.7 % and 31.3% respectively [1,2]. However, these PV technologies still show a large size difference between high efficiency cells, which have an area below the order of the cm2, and industry-viable cells. Hence, the ability to fabricate large area Pvk and Pvk/Si tandem cells showing high efficiency is crucial for industrial development of such technologies. This goal requires deposition process adaptation for every constitutive material layer in these solar cells. Particularly, the electron selective layer deposition is mostly performed by spin-coating, which is a non-adapted process for tens of nanometres-thick films on top of large area and possibly textured substrates. Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) on the contrary appears to be very attractive for such thin film growth, especially in the tandem cells case, for which the Si bottom cell surface is usually textured.The work realized during this experimental thesis focuses on the study of the influence of integrating an ALD-grown tin dioxide (SnO2) electron selective layer in Pvk-based solar cells.First, ALD-grown SnO2 thin films properties are investigated and compared to the properties of reference spin-coated SnO2 layers. Some differences, notably in their optical and electrical properties, have been identified. The formation of a Pvk film on top of an ALD-grown SnO2 layer is then also analysed and compared to the one of a reference Pvk film, without arising significant differences.With the knowledge of the previous comparisons results in mind, a second part of the work is dedicated to studying the performance of ALD-grown SnO2 electron selective layer by analysing Pvk-based solar cells behaviour. Strong limitations are highlighted, which points out the SnO2/Pvk interface as the probable main limiting region.In a third part, the SnO2/Pvk interface is more precisely investigated thanks to chemical and energetics characterisation techniques. Notably, a work function difference and an ionization energy difference are observed between the ALD-grown SnO2 and the spin-coated SnO2 as well as a difference in the net effective contact area at the SnO2/Pvk interface depending on the SnO2 nature. These results make possible to draw several hypothesis concerning the causes of performance limitations in devices.Finally, the influence of the ALD process modification over SnO2 thin films properties and Pvk-based solar cells behaviour is examined. This study shows that diverse SnO2 thin films annealing as well as a change in ALD growth temperature can affect SnO2 thin films properties with sometimes inducing a modification of solar cells behaviour.The performed studies and their respective results improve the overall understanding of the mechanisms that hinder electron selective layers efficiency in Pvk-based solar cells. This allows the assumption of news ways to integrate successfully an ALD-grown SnO2 electron selective layer in such solar cells, which will participate in the development of Pvk and Pvk/Si tandem solar cells. 

(Grenoble, France)
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