go to top scroll for more


Projects: Projects for Investigator
Reference Number EP/N024389/1
Title CZTSSe Solar Cells from Nanoparticle Inks
Status Completed
Energy Categories Renewable Energy Sources(Solar Energy, Photovoltaics) 100%;
Research Types Basic and strategic applied research 100%
Science and Technology Fields PHYSICAL SCIENCES AND MATHEMATICS (Chemistry) 25%;
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Not Cross-cutting 100%
Principal Investigator Dr G Zoppi
No email address given
Fac of Engineering and Environment
Northumbria University
Award Type Standard
Funding Source EPSRC
Start Date 01 July 2016
End Date 31 December 2018
Duration 30 months
Total Grant Value £98,071
Industrial Sectors Energy
Region North East
Programme NC : Engineering
Investigators Principal Investigator Dr G Zoppi , Fac of Engineering and Environment, Northumbria University (100.000%)
  Industrial Collaborator Project Contact , University of Liverpool (0.000%)
Project Contact , Hiden Analytical Ltd (0.000%)
Project Contact , Horiba Instruments Ltd (0.000%)
Project Contact , Big Solar Limited (0.000%)
Web Site
Abstract Future energy demand can be addressed by using renewable and inexhaustible solar energy, providing clean, unlimited, economical and green energy. The world global photovoltaic (PV) capacity currently stands at >140 GW and is expected to reach levels of 1 TW within the next decade. Electricity generation from the sun employing PV technology is currently dominated by Si-based PV and requires expensive equipment and process and schemes for cost reduction on a large scale are limited. Thin film technologies such as CdTe and Cu(In,Ga)Se2 (CIGS), provide a lower cost alternative primarily due to the use of in-line and low-temperature processes. While considerable efforts have been made to increase efficiency and reduce costs, thin film PV currently relies on scarce and therefore expensive resources and/or toxic elements. Alternative thin film materials would therefore provide routes to reduce PV cost-per-watt while still exhibiting lower input energy requirements. Solar cells based on Cu2ZnSn(S,Se)4 (CZTSSe) absorber layers offer such an alternative.Despite its young history CZTSSe record efficiency stands at 12.6% and the major limitations are (i) a lower than expected open circuit voltage accompanied by a low efficiency at converting and collecting carriers from low energy photons; (ii) the difficulty in controlling the kesterite crystal structure throughout the fabrication process; and (iii) the use of hydrazine, a highly toxic chemical, in the fabrication process to achieve the record efficiencies. This project will use nanocrystal dispersions (inks) of CZTS fabricating from hot injection as the starting material. This technique can reliably control crystal structure, composition and doping and does not present any environmental risks. Inks are easily spin coated or sprayed on substrates and a heat treatment under selenium rich atmosphere promotes grain growth without loss of the crystal structure. In order to fabricate record efficiencies using this technique the microstructure of the absorber and back contact layers need to be engineered to provide large grains extending the full thickness of the absorber combined with a small interfacial layer to ensure a good ohmic contact. This will be achieved by the removal of long hydrocarbon chained ligand in the nanocrystal fabrication alongside modifications of the selenization procedures. In addition the role of substrates and process impurities affecting devices performances will be quantified. I will produce nanoparticle inks, solar absorber and PV devices and demonstrate world leading results.
Publications (none)
Final Report (none)
Added to Database 08/04/16