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Growth and Characterization of Cu2Zn1−xFexSnS4 Thin Films for Photovoltaic Applications

School of Engineering and Materials Science, Queen Mary University of London, 327 Mile End Road, London E1 4NS, UK
Department of Materials Science and Solar Energy Research Center (MIB-SOLAR), University of Milano-Bicocca, Via Cozzi 55, I-20125 Milano, Italy
Department of Materials and Environmental Technology, Tallinn University of Technology, Ehitajate Tee 5, 19086 Tallinn, Estonia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Materials 2020, 13(6), 1471;
Received: 17 February 2020 / Revised: 15 March 2020 / Accepted: 20 March 2020 / Published: 24 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Optoelectronic Materials)
Photovoltaics is a promising technology to produce sustainable energy, thanks to the high amount of energy emitted by the sun. One way of having solar cells with low production costs is to apply thin-film technology and with earth-abundant raw materials. A keen interest is arising in kesterite compounds, which are chalcogenides composed of abundant and non-toxic elements. They have already achieved excellent performance at the laboratory level. Here, we report the synthesis and characterization of mixed chalcogenides based on copper, zinc, iron, and tin. Solutions have been studied with different zinc and iron ratios. The distortion of the elementary cell of kesterite increases with the addition of iron until a phase transition to stannite occurs. The process of synthesis and deposition proposed herein is cheap and straightforward, based on the sol-gel technique. These thin films are particularly attractive for use in cheap and easily processable solar cells. The synthesized layers have been characterized by X-ray diffraction, UV-Vis absorption, and Raman, X-ray photoelectron, and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy measurements. View Full-Text
Keywords: sustainable energy; chalcogenide solar cells; kesterite; stannite; iron chalcogenide sustainable energy; chalcogenide solar cells; kesterite; stannite; iron chalcogenide
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Trifiletti, V.; Tseberlidis, G.; Colombo, M.; Spinardi, A.; Luong, S.; Danilson, M.; Grossberg, M.; Fenwick, O.; Binetti, S. Growth and Characterization of Cu2Zn1−xFexSnS4 Thin Films for Photovoltaic Applications. Materials 2020, 13, 1471.

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