Band-Gap Widening at the Cu(In,Ga)(S,Se)2 Surface: A Novel Determination Approach Using Reflection Electron Energy Loss Spectroscopy

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Using reflection electron energy loss spectroscopy (REELS), we have investigated the optical properties at the surface of a chalcopyrite-based Cu(In,Ga)(S,Se)2 (CIGSSe) thin-film solar cell absorber, as well as an indium sulfide (InxSy) buffer layer before and after annealing. By fitting the characteristic inelastic scattering cross-section λK(E) to cross sections evaluated by the QUEELS-(k,ω)-REELS software package, we determine the surface dielectric function and optical properties of these samples. A comparison of the optical values at the surface of the InxSy film with bulk ellipsometry measurements indicates a good agreement between bulk- and surface-related optical properties. In contrast, the properties of the CIGSSe surface differ significantly from the bulk. In particular, a larger (surface) band gap than for bulk-sensitive measurements is observed, providing a complementary and independent confirmation of earlier photoelectron spectroscopy results. Finally, we derive the inelastic mean free path λ for electrons in InxSy, annealed InxSy, and CIGSSe at a kinetic energy of 1000 eV. © 2016 American Chemical Society.