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Hydrogen states in mixed-cation CuIn(1-x)GaxSe2 chalcopyrite alloys: a combined study by first-principles density-functional calculations and muon-spin spectroscopy

Authors: Marinopoulos, AG; Vilao, RC; Alberto, HV; Ribeiro, EFM; Gil, JM; Mengyan, PW; Goeks, MR; Kauk-Kuusik; Lord, JS

Ref.: Philos. Mag. 101(22), 2412-2434 (2021)

Abstract: First-principles calculations were performed jointly with muon-spin (mu SR) spectroscopy experiments in order to examine the electrical activity of hydrogen in mixed-cation chalcopyrite Cu(In1-x,Ga-x)Se-2 (CIGS) alloys and other related compounds commonly used as absorbers in solar-cell technology. The study targeted the range of Ga concentrations most relevant in typical solar cells. By means of a hybrid-functional approach the charge-transition levels of hydrogen were determined and the evolution of the defect pinning level, E(+/-), was monitored as a function of the Ga content. The use of E(+/-) as a metric of the charge-neutrality level allowed the alignment of band structures, thus providing the band offsets between the CuInSe2 compound and the CIGS alloys. The mu SR measurements in both thin-film and bulk CIGS materials confirmed that the positively charged state is the thermodynamically stable configuration of hydrogen for p-type conditions. The interpretation of the mu SR data further addressed the existence of a metastable quasi-atomic neutral configuration that was resolved from the calculations and led to a formation model for muon implantation.

DOI: 10.1080/14786435.2021.1972178