Solliance and imec demonstrate CZTSe solar cell efficiency of 9.7%

In order to achieve 20% conversion efficiency while reducing material costs, Solliance and imec recently demonstrated a copper-zinc-tin-selenium (CZTSe)-based thin-film solar cell (1x1cm2, AM1.5G) with an efficiency of 9.7%.

Imec's joint lab at Hasselt University imomec manufactures a CZTSe layer by sputtering copper, zinc, and tin metal layers onto a molybdenum glass substrate, followed by annealing in an H2Se environment.

It is said that the highest efficiency obtained is 9.7%, the maximum short-circuit current is 38.9mA/cm2, the open-circuit voltage is 0.41V, and the fill factor is 61%.

The researchers said that the production of the 1x1cm2 battery uses a polycrystalline absorber layer with a thickness of only 1μm, and the typical particle size is about 1μm.

Marc Meuris, project manager of Solliance Alternative Thin Film Photovoltaics, said: “This is a great victory for us. Since 2011, we have been working to achieve this milestone. At the time, in imec/imomec we started our research on thin film photovoltaic alternative materials. Our efficiency is the highest in Europe, close to the world record of this type of thin-film solar cell, and we look forward to further research and development to help bring sustainable energy to the market.”

Compared to CIGS, the availability of CZTSe materials is seen as a key advantage, and it is expected that it will reduce the cost of materials even if it is mass-produced in the future.

Solliance and imec will provide more details at the Intersolar NA conference in San Francisco next week.

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