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Article

Optimization of the Sb2S3 Shell Thickness in ZnO Nanowire-Based Extremely Thin Absorber Solar Cells

1
Université Grenoble Alpes, CNRS, Grenoble INP, LMGP, F-38000 Grenoble, France
2
Laboratory of Thin Film Chemical Technologies, Department of Materials and Environmental Technology, School of Engineering, Tallinn University of Technology, Ehitajate tee 5, 19086 Tallinn, Estonia
3
Université Grenoble Alpes, CNRS, Grenoble INP, Institut NEEL, F-38000 Grenoble, France
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Antonio Di Bartolomeo
Nanomaterials 2022, 12(2), 198; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano12020198
Received: 9 December 2021 / Revised: 22 December 2021 / Accepted: 28 December 2021 / Published: 7 January 2022
(This article belongs to the Special Issue ZnO Nanowires: Growth, Properties, and Energy Applications)
Extremely thin absorber (ETA) solar cells made of ZnO/TiO2/Sb2S3 core–shell nanowire heterostructures, using P3HT as the hole-transporting material (HTM), are of high interest to surpass solar cell efficiencies of their planar counterpart at lower material cost. However, no dimensional optimization has been addressed in detail, as it raises material and technological critical issues. In this study, the thickness of the Sb2S3 shell grown by chemical spray pyrolysis is tuned from a couple of nanometers to several tens of nanometers, while switching from a partially to a fully crystallized shell. The Sb2S3 shell is highly pure, and the unwanted Sb2O3 phase was not formed. The low end of the thickness is limited by challenges in the crystallization of the Sb2S3 shell, as it is amorphous at nanoscale dimensions, resulting in the low optical absorption of visible photons. In contrast, the high end of the thickness is limited by the increased density of defects in the bulk of the Sb2S3 shell, degrading charge carrier dynamics, and by the incomplete immersion of the P3HT in the structure, resulting in the poor hole collection. The best ETA solar cell with a short-circuit current density of 12.1 mA/cm2, an open-circuit voltage of 502 mV, and a photovoltaic conversion efficiency of 2.83% is obtained for an intermediate thickness of the Sb2S3 shell. These findings highlight that the incorporation of both the absorber shell and HTM in the core–shell heterostructures relies on the spacing between individual nanowires. They further elaborate the intricate nature of the dimensional optimization of an ETA cell, as it requires a fine-balanced holistic approach to correlate all the dimensions of all the components in the heterostructures. View Full-Text
Keywords: ZnO nanowires; Sb2S3; chemical spray pyrolysis; core shell heterostructures; extremely thin absorbers; solar cells ZnO nanowires; Sb2S3; chemical spray pyrolysis; core shell heterostructures; extremely thin absorbers; solar cells
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MDPI and ACS Style

Hector, G.; Eensalu, J.S.; Katerski, A.; Roussel, H.; Chaix-Pluchery, O.; Appert, E.; Donatini, F.; Acik, I.O.; Kärber, E.; Consonni, V. Optimization of the Sb2S3 Shell Thickness in ZnO Nanowire-Based Extremely Thin Absorber Solar Cells. Nanomaterials 2022, 12, 198. https://doi.org/10.3390/nano12020198

AMA Style

Hector G, Eensalu JS, Katerski A, Roussel H, Chaix-Pluchery O, Appert E, Donatini F, Acik IO, Kärber E, Consonni V. Optimization of the Sb2S3 Shell Thickness in ZnO Nanowire-Based Extremely Thin Absorber Solar Cells. Nanomaterials. 2022; 12(2):198. https://doi.org/10.3390/nano12020198

Chicago/Turabian Style

Hector, Guislain, Jako S. Eensalu, Atanas Katerski, Hervé Roussel, Odette Chaix-Pluchery, Estelle Appert, Fabrice Donatini, Ilona Oja Acik, Erki Kärber, and Vincent Consonni. 2022. "Optimization of the Sb2S3 Shell Thickness in ZnO Nanowire-Based Extremely Thin Absorber Solar Cells" Nanomaterials 12, no. 2: 198. https://doi.org/10.3390/nano12020198

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