Current commercial thin film photovoltaic technologies rely on the use of scarce and/or toxic elements, motivating the necessity to explore new technologies free of critical raw materials. In this work we report the first Cu3BiS3 based solar cells with proved photovoltaic activity using standard substrate configuration. The absorbers were synthesized using a sequential process based on metallic stacks evaporation followed by a reactive annealing under S atmosphere.
With the optimization of composition (Cu/3: Bi ratio), metallic stack order, annealing parameters and Na doping, we achieve a record conversion efficiency of 0.11%. Combining several characterizations techniques, we show that at this stage of the technology development, issues like composition, secondary phases and morphology cannot explain the low efficiencies obtained with this material.
Through a deeper characterization of the devices, we found that most probably, this is related to either, a high doping of the absorber, and/or poor transport charge properties. Understanding and solving these issues, can further help to improve the efficiency of Cu3BiS3 based devices towards more competitive conversion efficiencies.
Hernádez-Mota, J., Espíndola-Rodríguez, M., Sánchez, Y., López, I., Peña, Y. and Saucedo, E., 2018. Thin film photovoltaic devices prepared with Cu3BiS3 ternary compound. Materials Science in Semiconductor Processing, 87, pp.37-43.
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