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A series of copper oxide thin films were synthesized through direct current magnetron sputtering on glass and silicon substrates with various process parameters. Initially, optical microscopy images and their histograms were analyzed to determine the optical quality of the obtained layers and then histograms were created using Image Histogram Generator software. Next, the morphology, and cross-section and layer composition of the samples were evaluated. Finally, the transmission spectra of the thin films were recorded. Transmittance and reflection spectra of the UV–vis analysis were utilized to calculate the optical band gap, the extinction coefficient, and the absorption coefficient of the oxidized layers. Samples showed low transmittance (up to 40%) in the region of 400 to 1000 nm. The mean absorption coefficient varied from ~3 · 105 to ~6 · 105 1/cm and from ~2 · 105 to ~4 · 105 1/cm in the region of 2 eV to 3.5 eV. The extinction coefficient ranged from 0 to 0.11 in the region from 300 to 3000 nm. Reflectance of the samples was ~20% in the region of 1000 to 2500 nm and ranged from 20%-50% in the region of 1000 to 3000 nm. We verified the process parameters of the Cu2O structure to improve the quality as a buffer layer. On the basis of this preliminary analysis, we propose the most promising and future-oriented solutions in photovoltaic applications.
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