Effects of Sb-doping on the grain growth of Cu(In, Ga)Se2 thin films fabricated by means of single-target sputtering

Shu ZHANG, Lu WU, Ruoyu YUE, Zongkai YAN, Haoran ZHAN, Yong XIANG*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


To investigate the effects of Sb doping on the kinetics of grain growth in Cu(In,Ga)Se2 (CIGS) thin films during annealing, CIGS thin films were sputtered onto Mo coated substrates from a single CIGS alloy target, followed by chemical bath deposition of Sb2S3 thin layers on top of CIGS layers and subsequent annealing at different temperatures for 30 min in Se vapors. X-ray diffraction results showed that CIGS thin films were obtained directly using the single-target sputtering method. After annealing, the In/Ga ratio in Sb-doped CIGS thin films remained stable compared to undoped film, possibly because Sb can promote the incorporation of Ga into CIGS. The grain growth in CIGS thin films was enhanced after Sb doping, exhibiting significantly larger grains after annealing at 400 C or 450 C compared to films without Sb. In particular, the effect was strikingly significant in grain growth across the film thickness, resulting in columnar grain structure in Sb-doped films. This grain growth improvement may be led by the diffusion of Sb from the front surface to the CIGS-Mo back interface, which promoted the mass transport process in CIGS thin films.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-140
Number of pages4
JournalThin Solid Films
Early online date29 Nov 2012
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

The authors gratefully acknowledge the Innovation Fund from the State Key Laboratory of Electronic Thin Films and Integrated Devices (Contract No. CXJJ2010001) and the startup funds from the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China.


  • Annealing
  • Antimony
  • Chemical bath deposition
  • Copper indium gallium selenide
  • Doping
  • Grain growth
  • Keywords
  • Magnetron sputtering
  • Scanning electron microscopy


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