Rapid Development of Disruptive Photovoltaic Technologies

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


Development of new PV technologies based on novel materials is an important direction of solar cell research to enhance the odds for beyond-TW scaling of solar energy production. However, such research presents a significant technical challenge, because it requires a balance between sufficient breadth (screening new materials) and depth (development of PV devices) of the problem. The objective of this project was to establish novel inorganic photovoltaic absorbers using rapid development approach. The studied materials were the potentially scalable defect-tolerant oxide- and nitride solar cell absorbers. For one of these materials (ZnSnN2), we have experimentally demonstrated how to achieve low carrier density required for solar cell fabrication, and demonstrated that this synthesis process leads to near band edge photoluminescence supporting high optoelectronic quality of the material. For this ZnSnN2 material, we also showed that cation disorder does not significantly influence carrier transport, and that benign defect complexes can lead to improved doping control, both supporting the targeted defect tolerance of this material. All these results have been summarized in peer review publications, some featured on journal covers. In addition, we established a new class of anti-perovskite absorbers, and published several review articles of the field.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages14
StatePublished - 2019

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-5K00-73041


  • inorganic absorbers
  • novel materials
  • PV
  • rapid-development approach
  • ZnSnN2


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