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Earth-Abundant lnorganic Solar Cells

To realize mass deployment of a PV technology in an economically viable way, the PV devices must exhibit high efficiencies and consist of materials that are earth-abundant. The kesterite compound Cu2ZnSn(S,Se)4 (CZTS) has recently attracted intensive attention as a light absorbing layer that meets the aforementioned requirements. It consists of elements that are non-toxicity, low cost, and earth-abundant. It also holds a promise for high efficiency; the current record efficiency of CZTS solar cells is 8.4%[1] in the case of pure sulfide and 12.6% in the case of mixed sulfo-selenide CZTS. We’re currently working on further improving efficiencies of CZTS solar cells using a vacuum technique (thermal co-evaporation). In addition, we plan to expand our efforts to other earth-abundant solar materials such as SnS (SnSe).

[1] Shin et al. Prog. Photovoltaic: Res. Appl. 21, 72 (2013).
[2] Wang et al. Adv. Energy Mater. doi: 10.1002/aenm.201301465 (2013).