We report a multi-element study of impurities in CdS window layers by dynamic and quantitative SIMS. Two CdS/TCO/glass samples, grown separately using nominally the same conditions, were considered. In2O 3:F grown on soda lime glass was used as TCO followed by a sputtered CdS layer. One of the samples was subsequently used as a substrate for growth of CdTe by CSS. SIMS was carried out on both samples, and O, Na, Si, Cl, Sb, In, Zn, Sn, Pb, Cu, Te, S and Cd were depth profiled. It was shown that before CdTe growth, most of the impurity elements showed flat levels in the CdS ranging from 2-3×1020 cm-30 for Zn and O to 2-3×1017cm-3for Na, Cl, Sb and Te. Si was found to segregate at the CdS/TCO interface with a maximum level of 1018 cm-3. However, following CdTe growth, the impurities in the CdS layer showed higher concentrations and different profile shape compared to those before CdTe growth. Some of the impurities also showed a diffusion-like profile following the CdTe growth as compared to before. Possible explanations of these changes are discussed in terms of the purity of the starting materials and the growth environments, as well as the diffusion from the TCO and glass. © 2005 Materials Research Society.
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