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Solution processed CZTS solar cells using amine-thiol systems: understanding the dissolution process and device fabrication

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journal contribution
posted on 02.07.2020 by Jamie Lowe, Lewis Wright, Dmitry Eremin, Julia Burykina, Jonathan Martens, Felix Plasser, Valentine Ananikov, Jake Bowers, Andrei Malkov

Solar energy is one of the main renewable energy sources currently being researched, with commercial thin film solar cells currently made of CdTe or CuIn(1-x)GaxSe2 (CIGS) absorbers. However, whilst these materials make up the majority of the thin film commercial market, these solar cells have various problems relating to materials cost, and toxicity of constituent elements. Kesterite (Cu2ZnSn(S,Se)4) solar cells are becoming increasingly popular due to their tuneable band gap, relative affordability of the constituent elements, and the ability to produce high efficiency devices from solution processes. However, often expensive and toxic materials are used in production. In this paper we report on a newly developed amine-thiol solvent system based on 10% cysteamine in ethanolamine, which has low toxicity, is user-friendly and is able to readily dissolve all kesterite constituent elements, including metals and their oxides. The dissolution process and the structures of the prevalent metal complexes formed were investigated with the aid of spectroscopic methods, such as electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (ESI-MS) and infrared multiple photon dissociation (IRMPD). In most cases, two molecules of cysteamine were bound to the metals as bidentate ligands. By employing spin coating of the resulting inks, devices of up to 8.1% power conversion efficiency were fabricated.

Funding

EPSRC (EP/N026438/1 and EP/L017792/1).

IRIS study at FELIX laboratory has been supported by the project CALIPSOplus under the Grant Agreement 730872 from the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation HORIZON 2020.

History

School

  • Science
  • Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering

Department

  • Chemistry

Research Unit

  • Centre for Renewable Energy Systems Technology (CREST)

Published in

Journal of Materials Chemistry C

Volume

8

Issue

30

Pages

10309-10318

Publisher

Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC)

Version

VoR (Version of Record)

Rights holder

© The Royal Society of Chemistry

Publisher statement

This is an open access article. It is published by the Royal Society of Chemistry under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported Licence (CC BY). Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Acceptance date

30/06/2020

Publication date

2020-07-01

Copyright date

2020

ISSN

2050-7526

eISSN

2050-7534

Language

en

Depositor

Dr Felix Plasser. Deposit date: 1 July 2020

Licence

Exports