This book examines the advances in materials science, chemistry, processing and device issues of thin-film compound semiconductor materials that are used, or have potential use, in photovoltaic solar cells and related applications. In particular, the book focuses on transparent conducting oxides, on chalcogenide semiconductors such as Cu(InGa)(SeS)2, CdTe and CdS, and on photovoltaic devices using these materials. The application of recent advances in materials characterization to compound semiconductor thin films is a theme throughout. Particular highlights include results obtained with photoelectron spectroscopy, high-resolution transmission electron microscopy, atomic probe techniques, and spectroscopic ellipsometry. These provide new insights into surface, grain boundary and bulk properties. Results on new materials including different alloys of CuInSe2 and CdTe are also featured. Topics include: optical characterization; electronic structure; defects and impurities; structural characterization; interfaces; TCOs and window layers; back contacts; grain boundaries and inhomogeneities; performance of solar cells; electrical characterization; solar-cell technology; and wide-gap chalcopyrites.
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