Progress in Photovoltaics

Thin film solar cell with 8.4% power conversion efficiency using an earth-abundant Cu2ZnSnS4 absorber

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Using vacuum process, we fabricated Cu2ZnSnS4 solar cells with 8.4% efficiency, a number independently certified by an external, accredited laboratory. This is the highest efficiency reported for pure sulfide Cu2ZnSnS4 prepared by any method. Consistent with literature, the optimal composition is Cu-poor and Zn-rich despite the precipitation of secondary phases (e.g., ZnS). Despite a very thin absorber thickness (~600 nm), a reasonably good short-circuit current was obtained. Time-resolved photoluminescence measurements suggest a minority carrier-diffusion length on the order of several hundreds of nanometers and relatively good collection of photo-carriers across the entire absorber thickness. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.