Following the recent success of monolithically integrated Perovskite/Si tandem solar cells, great interest has been raised in searching for alternative wide bandgap top-cell materials with prospects of a fully earth-abundant, stable and efficient tandem solar cell. Thin film chalcogenides (TFCs) such as the Cu2ZnSnS4 (CZTS) could be suitable top-cell materials. However, TFCs have the disadvantage that generally at least one high temperature step (>500 °C) is needed during the synthesis, which could contaminate the Si bottom cell. Here, we systematically investigate the monolithic integration of CZTS on a Si bottom solar cell. A thermally resilient double-sided Tunnel Oxide Passivated Contact (TOPCon) structure is used as bottom cell. A thin (<25 nm) TiN layer between the top and bottom cells, doubles as diffusion barrier and recombination layer. We show that TiN successfully mitigates in-diffusion of CZTS elements into the c-Si bulk during the high temperature sulfurization process, and find no evidence of electrically active deep Si bulk defects in samples protected by just 10 nm TiN. Post-process minority carrier lifetime in Si exceeded 1.5 ms, i.e., a promising implied open-circuit voltage (i-Voc) of 715 mV after the high temperature sulfurization. Based on these results, we demonstrate a first proof-of-concept two-terminal CZTS/Si tandem device with an efficiency of 1.1% and a Voc of 900 mV. A general implication of this study is that the growth of complex semiconductors on Si using high temperature steps is technically feasible, and can potentially lead to efficient monolithically integrated two-terminal tandem solar cells.
- Titanium nitride