Macroscopic versus microscopic photovoltaic response of heterojunctions based on mechanochemically prepared nanopowders of kesterite and n-type semiconductors

Oleg P. Dimitriev, Dmytro O. Grynko, Alexander N. Fedoryak, Tamara Doroshenko, Markus Kratzer, Christian Teichert, Yuri Noskov, Nicolai Ogurtsov, Alexander Pud, Peter Balaz, Matej Balaz, Matej Tesinsky

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Mechanochemically prepared nanopowder of selenium-free kesterite
Cu2ZnSnS4 (CZTS) in combination with n-type semiconductors, i.e., CdS, ZnO and
TiO2, was tested in planar and bulk-heterojunction solar cells. The samples have been
studied by macroscopic current-voltage (I-V) measurements and Kelvin-probe atomicforce microscopy (KPFM). KPFM images taken under light illumination showed the
distribution of the potential across the surface, with negative potential on the n-type
semiconductor domains and positive potential on the CZTS domains, which indicated
charge separation at the interface of the counterparts. The best result was found for the
CdS-CZTS composition, which showed a potential difference between the domains up to
250 mV. These results were compared with the planar heterojunctions of CdS/CZTS and
TiO2/CZTS, where CZTS nanopowder was pressed/deposited directly onto the surface of
films of the corresponding n-type semiconductors. Again, I-V characteristics showed that
cells based on CdS/CZTS heterojunctions have the best performance, with a
photovoltage up to 200 mV and photocurrent densities up to 0.1 mA/cm2
. However, the
carrier generation was found to occur mainly in the CdS semiconductor, while CZTS
showed no photo-response and served as the hole-transporting layer only. It is concluded
that sensitization of the kesterite powder obtained by mechanochemical method is
necessary to improve the performance of the corresponding solar cells.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)418-423
Number of pages6
JournalSemiconductor Physics, Quantum Electronics & Optoelectronics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 7 Dec 2017

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