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Solution-processed Cd-substituted CZTS nanocrystals for sensitized liquid junction solar cells

Rondiya, Sachin R., Jadhav, Yogesh A., Živković, Aleksandar, Jathar, Sagar B., Rahane, Ganesh K., Cross, Russell W., Rokade, Avinash V., Devan, Rupesh S., Kolekar, Sadhu, Hoye, Robert L.Z., Ghosh, Hirendra N., de Leeuw, Nora H., Jadkar, Sandesh R. and Dzadezade, Nelson 2022. Solution-processed Cd-substituted CZTS nanocrystals for sensitized liquid junction solar cells. Journal of Alloys and Compounds 890 , 161575. 10.1016/j.jallcom.2021.161575

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The Earth-abundant kesterite Cu2ZnSnS4 (CZTS) exhibits outstanding structural, optical, and electronic properties for a wide range of optoelectronic applications. However, the efficiency of CZTS thin-film solar cells is limited due to range of factors, including electronic disorder, secondary phases, and the presence of anti-site defects, which is key factor limiting the Voc. The complete substitution of Zn lattice sites in CZTS nanocrystals (NCs) with Cd atoms offers a promising approach to overcome several of these intrinsic limitations. Herein, we investigate the effects of substitution of Cd2+ into Zn2+ lattice sites in CZTS NCs through a facile solution-based method. The structural, morphological, optoelectronic, and power conversion efficiencies (PCEs) of the NCs synthesized have been systematically characterized using various experimental techniques, and the results are corroborated by first-principles density functional theory (DFT) calculations. The successful substitution of Zn by Cd is demonstrated to induce a structural transformation from the kesterite phase to the stannite phase, which results in the bandgap reducing from 1.51 eV (kesterite) to 1.1 eV (stannite), which is closer to the optimum bandgap value for outdoor photovoltaic applications. Furthermore, the PCE of the novel Cd-substituted liquid junction solar cell underwent a four-fold increase, reaching 1.1%. These results highlight the importance of substitutional doping strategies in optimizing existing CZTS-based materials to achieve improved device characteristics.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Chemistry
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0925-8388
Funders: EPSRC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 18 August 2021
Date of Acceptance: 12 August 2021
Last Modified: 30 Aug 2022 16:21

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