Thin Film Solar Cells From Earth Abundant Materials

Growth and Characterization of Cu2(ZnSn)(SSe)4 Thin Films and Their Solar Cells


  • Subba Kodigala, Department of Physics & Astronomy, California State University, Northridge, USA

The fundamental concept of the book is to explain how to make thin film solar cells from the abundant solar energy materials by low cost. The proper and optimized growth conditions are very essential while sandwiching thin films to make solar cell otherwise secondary phases play a role to undermine the working function of solar cells. The book illustrates growth and characterization of Cu2ZnSn(S1-xSex)4 thin film absorbers and their solar cells. The fabrication process of absorber layers by either vacuum or non-vacuum process is readily elaborated in the book, which helps for further development of cells. The characterization analyses such as XPS, XRD, SEM, AFM etc., lead to tailor the physical properties of the absorber layers to fit well for the solar cells. The role of secondary phases such as ZnS, Cu2-xS,SnS etc., which are determined by XPS, XRD or Raman, in the absorber layers is promptly discussed. The optical spectroscopy analysis, which finds band gap, optical constants of the films, is mentioned in the book. The electrical properties of the absorbers deal the influence of substrates, growth temperature, impurities, secondary phases etc. The low temperature I-V and C-V measurements of Cu2ZnSn(S1-xSex)4 thin film solar cells are clearly described. The solar cell parameters such as efficiency, fill factor, series resistance, parallel resistance provide handful information to understand the mechanism of physics of thin film solar cells in the book. The band structure, which supports to adjust interface states at the p-n junction of the solar cells is given. On the other hand the role of window layers with the solar cells is discussed. The simulation of theoretical efficiency of Cu2ZnSn(S1-xSex)4 thin film solar cells explains how much efficiency can be experimentally extracted from the cells.
View full description


Researchers and students in Physics, Materials Science and Engineering


Book information

  • Published: November 2013
  • Imprint: ELSEVIER
  • ISBN: 978-0-12-394429-0

Table of Contents

1 Introduction

1.1 Current Trends in Utilization of Solar Energy

1.2 Working Principle of Thin-Film Solar Cells

1.3 Quantum Dot Solar Cells

1.4 Plasmonic Solar Cells

1.5 Thin-Film Solar Cells by Earth Abundant Materials


2 Growth of Binary Compounds of Cu2ZnSn(S12xSex)4 and Their Thin-Film Solar Cells

2.1 Cu2S and Cu2Se Absorbers

2.2 Cu2S-Based Solar Cells

2.3 SnS, SnS2, and Sn2S3 Absorbers

2.4 SnSe and SnSe2 Absorbers

2.5 SnS-Based Thin-Film Solar Cells

2.6 Windows for Solar Cells

2.6.1 ZnS

2.6.2 ZnSe


3 Growth of Quaternary and Pentanary Cu2ZnSn(S12xSex)4 Absorbers

3.1 Growth of Cu2ZnSn(S12xSex)4

3.2 Growth of Cu2ZnSnS4

3.2.1 Thermal Vacuum Evaporation

3.2.2 Sputtering

3.2.3 Pulsed Laser Deposition

3.2.4 Nanocrystal Synthesis

3.2.5 Spin Coating

3.2.6 Screen Printing

3.2.7 Electrodeposition

3.2.8 Spray Pyrolysis

3.3 Growth of Cu2ZnSnSe4

3.3.1 Co-evaporation

3.3.2 Sputtering
3.3.3 Pulsed Laser Deposition

3.3.4 Nanocrystals

3.3.5 Electrodeposition

3.4 Growth of Cu2ZnSn(SSe)4

3.5 Sulfurization or Selenization of CuZnSn, Cu2ZnSnS4, and Cu2ZnSnSe4 Precursors


4 The Role of Characterization Techniques in the Thin Film Analysis

4.1 Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy

4.2 X-ray Fluorescence

4.3 Secondary Ion Mass Spectroscopy

4.4 Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectroscopy

4.5 X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy of Cu2ZnSn(S1-xSex)4

4.6 Scanning Electron Microscopy

4.7 Atomic Force Microscopy

4.8 X-ray Diffraction of Cu2ZnSn(S1-xSex)4

4.9 Optical Properties of Cu2ZnSn(S1-xSex)4

4.9.1 Band Structure of Cu2ZnSnS4 or Cu2ZnSnSe4

4.9.2 Photoluminescence of Cu2ZnSnS4 and Cu2ZnSnSe4

4.10 Raman Spectroscopy

4.10.1 Raman Studies of Cu2ZnSnS4

4.10.2 Raman Studies of Cu2ZnSnSe4

4.10.3 Raman Analyses of Cu2ZnSn(S1-xSex)4

4.11 Electrical Properties of Cu2ZnSn(S12xSex)4 Thin Films


5 Fabrication and Characterization of Cu2ZnSn(S12xSex)4 Thin-Film Solar Cells

5.1 Band Structure of Heterojunction Solar Cells

5.2 Cu2ZnSnS4 Thin-Film Solar Cells

5.3 Cu2ZnSnSe4 Solar Cells

5.3.1 Cu2ZnSn(S12xSex)4 Thin Film Solar Cells

5.4 C_V Analysis of Junctions

5.5 Time-Resolved Photoluminescence

5.6 Electron Beam Induced Current Study