Scientists Identify New Quaternary Materials for Solar Cell Absorbers (Fact Sheet), NREL Highlights, Science

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Research provides insight for exploring use of earth-abundant quaternary semiconductors for large-scale solar cell applications. For large-scale solar electricity generation, it is critical to find new material that is Earth abundant and easily manufactured. Previous experimental studies suggest that Cu{sub 2}ZnSnS{sub 4} could be a strong candidate absorber materials for large-scale thin-film solar cells due to its optimal bandgap, high adsorption coefficient, and ease of synthesis. However, due to the complicated nature of the quaternary compound, it is unclear whether other quaternary compounds have physical properties suitable for solar cell application. Researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Fudan ... continued below

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Creator: Unknown. October 1, 2011.

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Research provides insight for exploring use of earth-abundant quaternary semiconductors for large-scale solar cell applications. For large-scale solar electricity generation, it is critical to find new material that is Earth abundant and easily manufactured. Previous experimental studies suggest that Cu{sub 2}ZnSnS{sub 4} could be a strong candidate absorber materials for large-scale thin-film solar cells due to its optimal bandgap, high adsorption coefficient, and ease of synthesis. However, due to the complicated nature of the quaternary compound, it is unclear whether other quaternary compounds have physical properties suitable for solar cell application. Researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Fudan University, and University College London have performed systematic searches of quaternary semiconductors using a sequential cation mutation method in which the material properties of the quaternary compounds can be derived and understood through the evolution from the binary, to ternary, and to quaternary compounds. The searches revealed that in addition to Cu{sub 2}ZnSnS{sub 4}, Cu{sub 2}ZnGeSe{sub 4} and Cu{sub 2}ZnSnSe{sub 4} are also suitable quaternary materials for solar cell absorbers. Through the extensive study of defect and alloy properties of these materials, the researchers propose that to maximize solar cell performance, growth of Cu{sub 2}ZnSnS{sub 4} under Cu-poor/Zn-rich conditions will be optimal and the formation of Cu{sub 2}ZnSn(S,Se){sub 4} alloy will be beneficial in improving solar cell performance.

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  • Related Information: NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory)

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  • Report No.: NREL/FS-5900-52005
  • Grant Number: AC36-08GO28308
  • DOI: 10.2172/1027688 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1027688
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc833174

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  • October 1, 2011

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  • May 19, 2016, 3:16 p.m.

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  • Dec. 15, 2016, 2:30 p.m.

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Scientists Identify New Quaternary Materials for Solar Cell Absorbers (Fact Sheet), NREL Highlights, Science, report, October 1, 2011; Golden, Colorado. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc833174/: accessed September 23, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.