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 1Î¼m, and the typical particle size is about 1Î¼m.
Marc Meuris, project manager of Solliance Alternative Thin Film Photovoltaics, said: â€œThis 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.â€
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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