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Journal Article (Refereed)
December 2010

Single step deposition method for nearly stoichiometric CuInSe2 thin films

Karthikeyan, S & Hill, A E & Pilkington, R & Cowpe, J & Hisek, J & Bagnall, D M 2010, 'Single step deposition method for nearly stoichiometric CuInSe2 thin films', Thin Solid Fims, 519(10), pp.3107-3112.


This paper reports the production of high quality copper indium diselenide thin films using pulsed DC magnetron sputtering from a powder target. As–grown thin films consisted of pin-hole free, densely packed grains. X–ray diffraction showed that films were highly orientated in the (112) and/or (204)/(220) direction with no secondary phases present. The most surprising and exciting outcome of this study was that the as-grown films were of near stoichiometric composition, almost independent of the composition of the starting material. No additional steps or substrate heating were necessary to incorporate selenium and create single phase CuInSe2. Electrical properties obtained by hot point probe and four point probe gave values of low resistivity and showed that the films were all p–type. The physical and structural properties of these films were analyzed using x-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy. Resistivity measurements were carried out using the four point probe and hot probe methods. The single step deposition process can cut down the cost of the complex multi step processes involved in the traditional vacuum based deposition techniques.


This paper contains the first account of the use of Pulsed DC Magnetron Sputtering (PDMS) in a single step deposition process for the ternary chalcopyrite CuInSe2 absorber layer for thin film solar cells. This is a significant advance over previous multi-step deposition methods. The successful work has led directly to an application for funding to extend the technique to a new range of CZTS (Cu2ZnSnS4) thin films cells which promise a superior performance with reduced dependence on limited availability source materials such as indium and gallium.

Publication Details

Journal Name
Thin Solid Fims