CIBS Solar Cell Development Final Scientific/Technical Report

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Efforts to fabricate and study a new photovoltaic material, copper indium boron diselenide (CuInxB1-xSe2 or CIBS), were undertaken. Attempts to prepare CIBS using sputtering deposition techniques resulted in segregation of boron from the rest of elements in the material. CIBS nanocrystals were prepared from the reaction of elemental Se with CuCl, InCl3, and boric acid in solution, but the product material quickly decomposed upon heating that was required in attempts to convert the nanocrystals into a thin film. The investigation of the reasons for the lack of CIBS material stability led to new structure-property studies of closely-related photovoltaic systems as ... continued below

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Exstrom, Christopher L.; Soukup, Rodney J. & Ianno, Natale J. September 28, 2011.

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Efforts to fabricate and study a new photovoltaic material, copper indium boron diselenide (CuInxB1-xSe2 or CIBS), were undertaken. Attempts to prepare CIBS using sputtering deposition techniques resulted in segregation of boron from the rest of elements in the material. CIBS nanocrystals were prepared from the reaction of elemental Se with CuCl, InCl3, and boric acid in solution, but the product material quickly decomposed upon heating that was required in attempts to convert the nanocrystals into a thin film. The investigation of the reasons for the lack of CIBS material stability led to new structure-property studies of closely-related photovoltaic systems as well as studies of new solar cell materials and processing methods that could enhance the development of next-generation solar technologies. A detailed compositional study of CuIn1-xAlxSe2 (CIAS, a system closely related to CIBS) revealed a non-linear correlation between crystal lattice size and the Al/(In+Al) ratios with dual-phase formation being observed. A new nanocrystal-to-thin-film processing method was developed for the preparation of CuIn1-xGaxSe2 (CIGS) thin films in which colloidal Se particles are sprayed in contact with CuIn1-xGaxS2 nanoparticles and heated in an argon atmosphere with no other Se source in the system. The process is non-vacuum and does not require toxic gases such as Se vapor or H2Se. Expertise gained from these studies was applied to new research in the preparation of thin-film pyrite FeS2, an attractive earth-abundant candidate material for next-generation photovoltaics. Three methods successfully produced pure pyrite FeS2 films: sulfurization of sputtered Fe films, chemical bath deposition, and sulfurization of Fe2O3 sol-gel precursors. The last method produced pinhole-free films that may be viable for device development. Nickel, platinum, and possibly carbon would appear to serve as good ohmic contact materials. While CdS has a reasonable conduction band energy match to serve as an n-type buffer material in a pyrite FeS2-based solar cell, the less toxic SnS2 is being explored for this purpose.

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  • Report No.: DOE/GO/88007-1
  • Grant Number: FG36-08GO88007
  • DOI: 10.2172/1025582 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1025582
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc840378

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  • September 28, 2011

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • May 19, 2016, 3:16 p.m.

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  • July 21, 2016, 8:23 p.m.

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Exstrom, Christopher L.; Soukup, Rodney J. & Ianno, Natale J. CIBS Solar Cell Development Final Scientific/Technical Report, report, September 28, 2011; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc840378/: accessed October 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.