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Materials 2016, 9(4), 271; doi:10.3390/ma9040271

Current Status and Future Prospects of Copper Oxide Heterojunction Solar Cells

1
NOVITAS, School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Block S2, Nanyang Technological University, Nanyang Avenue, Singapore 639798, Singapore
2
Institute of Materials Research and Engineering, A*STAR (Agency for Science, Technology and Research), 2 Fusionopolis Way, #08-03, Innovis 138634, Singapore
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Lioz Etgar
Received: 21 February 2016 / Revised: 30 March 2016 / Accepted: 31 March 2016 / Published: 7 April 2016
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Materials)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [5443 KB, uploaded 7 April 2016]   |  

Abstract

The current state of thin film heterojunction solar cells based on cuprous oxide (Cu2O), cupric oxide (CuO) and copper (III) oxide (Cu4O3) is reviewed. These p-type semiconducting oxides prepared by Cu oxidation, sputtering or electrochemical deposition are non-toxic, sustainable photovoltaic materials with application potential for solar electricity. However, defects at the copper oxide heterojunction and film quality are still major constraining factors for achieving high power conversion efficiency, η. Amongst the Cu2O heterojunction devices, a maximum η of 6.1% has been obtained by using pulsed laser deposition (PLD) of AlxGa1−xO onto thermal Cu2O doped with Na. The performance of CuO/n-Si heterojunction solar cells formed by magnetron sputtering of CuO is presently limited by both native oxide and Cu rich copper oxide layers at the heterointerface. These interfacial layers can be reduced by using a two-step sputtering process. A high η of 2.88% for CuO heterojunction solar cells has been achieved by incorporation of mixed phase CuO/Cu2O nanopowder. CuO/Cu2O heterojunction solar cells fabricated by electrodeposition and electrochemical doping has a maximum efficiency of 0.64% after surface defect passivation and annealing. Finally, early stage study of Cu4O3/GaN deposited on sapphire substrate has shown a photovoltaic effect and an η of ~10−2%. View Full-Text
Keywords: cuprous oxide; cupric oxide; heterojunction; solar cell; oxidation; magnetron sputtering; pulsed laser deposition cuprous oxide; cupric oxide; heterojunction; solar cell; oxidation; magnetron sputtering; pulsed laser deposition
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Wong, T.K.S.; Zhuk, S.; Masudy-Panah, S.; Dalapati, G.K. Current Status and Future Prospects of Copper Oxide Heterojunction Solar Cells. Materials 2016, 9, 271.

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