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Thickness-limited performance of CuInSe2 nanocrystal photovoltaic devices

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This paper reports our latest results using colloidal CuInSe2 nanocrystal inks to prepare photovoltaic (PV) devices. Thus far, devices with nanocrystal layers processed under ambient conditions with no post-deposition treatment have achieved power conversion efficiencies of up to 3.1%. Device efficiency is largely limited by charge carrier trapping in the nanocrystal layer, and the highest device efficiencies are obtained with very thin layers—less than 150 nm—absorbing only a fraction of the incident light. Devices with thicker nanocrystal layers had lower power conversion efficiency, despite the increased photon absorption, because the internal quantum efficiency of the devices decreased significantly. The thin, most efficient devices exhibited internal quantum efficiencies as high as 40%, across a wide spectrum. Mott-Schottky measurements revealed that the active region thickness in the devices is approximately 50 nm.

©2010 Optical Society of America

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Figures (7)

Fig. 1
Fig. 1 (A, B) TEM images and (C) XRD of the CuInSe2 nanocrystals. The diffraction peaks in (C) are indexed to chalcopyrite CuInSe2 (PDF#97-006-8928). The inset shows the chalcopyrite unit cell of CuInSe2: red, blue and green spheres correspond to copper, indium and selenium atoms, respectively.
Fig. 2
Fig. 2 I-V characteristics of a device with power conversion efficiency of 3.1% under AM1.5 illumination. Dark conditions (black) and under AM1.5 illumination (red). The device parameters are obtained by a best fit of Eq. (1) (solid lines) to the data (○). The parameters from the best fit are listed in Table 1.
Fig. 3
Fig. 3 (A) I-V measurements of a CuInSe2 nanocrystal PV device with a crossover between the light and the dark curves. Using light with wavelength higher than 515 nm, the crossover is still present. By using only low energy photons above 630 nm wavelength, however, the crossover between the dark and light curves is eliminated. (B) Spectra of light used for each illuminated measurement.
Fig. 4
Fig. 4 Band alignment of CuInSe2/CdS/ZnO heterojunction with or without the photo-doping of the CdS buffer layer. Modified from Pudov, et. al. [21]
Fig. 5
Fig. 5 (A) I-V measurements of devices with varying thickness of spray deposited CuInSe2 nanocrystal film and (B) calculated device parameters associated with these devices.
Fig. 6
Fig. 6 (A) IPCE measurements of a set of devices with different thicknesses of the CuInSe2 nanocrystal film thickness shows similar trend between the different thicknesses. (B) Internal quantum efficiency data of the same devices reveals how thinner devices extract photogenerated carriers at a better efficiency.
Fig. 7
Fig. 7 (A) Device architecture used for C-V measurements consists of a simplified junction. (B) One diode model considered for this type of junction to analyze the impedance data. (C) Sample Nyquist plot illustrating the response of the junction at a certain bias; inset provides the parameters gathered from the model fit (solid line) for the equivalent circuit to the raw data (marked by ○). (D) Linear plot of inverse square capacitance of the junction versus applied voltage across the junction, inset provides the gathered parameters based on Mott-Schottky approximation. Area of this device was isolated to 8 mm2. (E) I-V characteristics of the device in the dark (black curve) and under AM 1.5 illumination (red curve); the measured device parameters are provided in the inset.

Tables (1)

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Table 1 Diode performance parameters for the highest efficiency PV device

Equations (5)

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J = J 0 ( e V J A R s n k T + V J A R s J 0 A R s h 1 ) J p h
f ( λ ) T t o p ( λ ) [ 1 T 1 ( λ ) 2 R B C ( λ ) ]
1 C s c 2 = ( 2 q N A ε s ε 0 A 2 ) ( V V b i k T q )
V b i = q 2 ε s ε 0 [ N A x p 2 + N D x n 2 ]
V b i = q N A x p 2 2 ε s ε 0
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