Trade-Offs in Thin Film Solar Cells with Layered Chalcostibite Photovoltaic Absorbers

Adam W. Welch, Lauryn L. Baranowski, Haowei Peng, Hannes Hempel, Rainer Eichberger, Thomas Unold, Stephan Lany, Colin Wolden, Andriy Zakutayev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus Citations


Discovery of novel semiconducting materials is needed for solar energy conversion and other optoelectronic applications. However, emerging low-dimensional solar absorbers often have unconventional crystal structures and unusual combinations of optical absorption and electrical transport properties, which considerably slows down the research and development progress. Here, the effect of stronger absorption and weaker carrier collection of 2D-like absorber materials are studied using a high-throughput combinatorial experimental approach, complemented by advanced characterization and computations. It is found that the photoexcited charge carrier collection in CuSbSe2 solar cells is enhanced by drift in an electric field, addressing a different absorption/collection balance. The resulting drift solar cells efficiency is <5% due to inherent J SC/V OC trade-off, suggesting that improved carrier diffusion and better contacts are needed to further increase the CuSbSe2 performance. This study also illustrates the advantages of high-throughput experimental methods for fast optimization of the optoelectronic devices based on emerging low-dimensional semiconductor materials.

Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages7
JournalAdvanced Energy Materials
Issue number11
StatePublished - 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5K00-67269


  • 2D materials
  • combinatorial experiments
  • density functional theory
  • photovoltaic absorbers
  • time-resolved spectroscopy


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