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Imec, Solliance uncover solar cell with 9.7% efficiency

Posted: 05 Jul 2013 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:CZTSe? thin-film solar cell? CIGS?

Imec and Solliance are set to announce a CZTSe (Cu2ZnSnSe4)-based solar cell with 9.7 per cent efficiency (1 x 1cm, AM1.5G). According to them, the findings will bring the solar industry closer to a sustainable alternative for the highest efficiency thin-film solar cells in production, based on CIGS (Cu(In,Ga)(S,Se)2).

CZTSe is an emerging alternative solar cell absorber in thin-film solar cells, similar to CZTS (Cu2ZnSnS4). Unlike CIGS, CZTS and CZTSe do not suffer from abundancy issues. At 1.5-1.6eV for CZTS, and 0.9eV for CZTSe, their bandgaps make a combined material system ideal for a multi-junction, thin-film solar cell that rivals the efficiency of CIGS cells (about 20 per cent). Imomec, Imec and Solliance have defined a path towards further improving the layers and cell structures of CZTSe and CZTS absorbers aiming at developing a multi junction CZTS/CZTSe solar cell with 20 per cent cell efficiency. The presented CZTSe solar cell is an important step forward to reach this goal.

Imec/Imomec fabricated the CZTSe layers by sputtering Cu, Zn and Sn metal layers on a molybdenum-on-glass substrate and subsequent annealing in an H2Se containing atmosphere, achieving 9.7 per cent efficiency. The resulting polycrystalline absorber layers are only 1?m thick, with a typical grain size of about 1?m. The samples were then processed at Helmholtz Zentrum Berlin into solar cells using a standard process flow for thin film solar cells and finished with a metal grid and anti-reflective coating at Imec. The highest efficiency obtained on a 1 x 1cm cell was 9.7 per cent, with a maximum short circuit current of 38.9mA/cm2, an open circuit voltage of 0.41V and a fill factor of 61 per cent.

The sputtering of the Cu, Zn, Sn layers was performed at Flamac (Gent), and the international glass manufacturer AGC delivered molybdenum-on- glass substrates. Imec's thin-film solar cell activities at Imomec (Imec's associated laboratory at the university of Hasselt) are integrated in the Solliance cross-border collaboration platform, and the research was partially supported by the Flemish 'Strategisch Initiatief Materialen' (SIM) SoPPoM program.





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