Investigation of Surface Sulfurization in CuIn1−xGaxS2−ySey Thin Films by Using Kelvin Probe Force Microscopy

Haeri Kim, Se Jin Park, Byungwoo Kim, Yun Jeong Hwang, Byoung Koun Min

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


CuIn1−xGaxS2−ySey (CIGSSe) thin films have attracted a great deal of attention as promising absorbing materials for solar cell applications, owing to their favorable optical properties (e.g. a direct band gap and high absorption coefficients) and stable structure. Many studies have sought to improve the efficiency of solar cells using these films, and it has been found that surface modification through post-heat treatment can lead to surface passivation of surface defects and a subsequent increase in efficiency. The surface properties of solution-processed CIGSSe films are considered to be particularly important in this respect, owing to the fact that they are more prone to defects. In this work, CIGSSe thin films with differing S/Se ratios at their surface were synthesized by using a precursor solution and post-sulfurization heat treatment. These CIGSSe thin films were investigated with current–voltage and Kelvin probe force microscope (KPFM) analyses. Surface photovoltage (SPV), which is the difference in the work function in the dark and under illumination, was measured by using KPFM, which can examine the screening and the modification of surface charge through carrier trapping. As the concentration of S increases on the CIGSSe film surface, higher work functions and more positive SPV values were observed. Based on these measurements, we inferred the band-bending behavior of CIGSSe absorber films and proposed reasons for the improvement in solar cell performance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)261-265
Number of pages5
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Feb 5

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Energy Technology Development Program of the Korea Institute of Energy Technology Evaluation and Planning (KETEP) grant (20163010012570).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim


  • Kelvin probe force microscopy
  • defects
  • sulfurization
  • surface photovoltage
  • thin films

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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