Journal article Open Access

Fabrication of ternary and quaternary chalcogenide compounds based on Cu, Zn, Sn and Si for thin film photovoltaic applications

Guy Brammertz, Bart Vermang, Hossam ElAnzeery, Sylvester Sahayaraj, Samaneh Ranjbar, Marc Meuris, Jef Poortmans

We investigated the use of ternary and quaternary chalcogenide compounds based on Cu, Zn, Sn and Si for use as high band gap absorber layers in thin film photovoltaics. We have investigated the fabrication of Cu2Zn(Sn,Si)Se4, Cu2Si(S,Se)3 and Cu8Si(S,Se)6 thin film layers. Whereas, Cu2Zn(Sn,Si)Se4 and Cu2Si(S,Se)3 appeared to be difficult to fabricate, because the Si did not intermix well with the rest of the elements at the typical process temperatures used for glass substrates, Cu2ZnSiSe4 and Cu8Si(S,Se)6 could be formed. The fabricated layers were polycrystalline with a typical thickness of about 1 μm. We also fabricated solar cells with the different absorber materials, using a standard Mo back contact and CdS/ZnO buffer layer combination, but despite very bright photoluminescence response of the Cu8SiS6 and Cu8SiSe6layers at an energy of about 1.84 and 1.3 eV respectively, the measured efficiencies remained below 0.1% due to particularly low photocurrents.

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