289211 Thin Film Solar Cells From Nanocrystal Inks of Quaternary Semiconductors

Wednesday, October 31, 2012: 2:15 PM
Allegheny I (Westin )
Rakesh Agrawal, School of Chemical Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN

The production of low-cost solar cells from earth abundant elements is necessary for the use of solar electricity on a large scale.  The creation of a suitable inorganic colloidal nanocrystal ink for use in a scalable coating process is a key step in the development of low-cost thin film solar cells.  We have developed an innovative method of using copper indium gallium disulfide (CIGS) and Cu2ZnSnS4 (CZTS) nanocrystals as the building block for the fabrication of bulk absorber thin films.  The nanocrystal ink solution is applied directly on various substrates to form a thin film coating.  The nanocrystals are then consolidated into large crystalline chalcopyrite domains by a brief thermal treatment under Se vapor.  Furthermore, the ability to control the composition of nanocrystals allows the unique capability to bandgap engineer the selenized absorber layer. 

In this talk we will present some of our recent results on CZTS nanoparticle synthesis, absorber film sintering and optoelectronic characterization of the resulting solar cells.  These results are exciting as they provide us the insights that will eventually lead to highly efficient low-cost solar cells.

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