Thin films and Transparent Conducting Oxides: Thin film PV materials comprise amorphous, microcrystalline and crystalline silicon, compound semiconductors like cadmium telluride and the chalcopyrite family. The properties of thin film materials often depend on the deposition method and even the facility in which they were made. Therefore, materials characterization methods like surface and bulk compositional analysis tools as well as methods that probe electronic states have to be compared on a variety of materials. It is the aim of this JRA to link materials properties in some thin film materials or multi-junction solar cells with device characteristics.
In thin film technologies the transparent contacts play an important role. The quality is not easily evaluated, especially for film silicon cells, since the light trapping is mainly introduced by the TCO. Electrical and optical properties as well as light scattering performance have to be accounted for in an effective figure of merit.