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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Chemical Bath Deposition of p-Type Transparent, Highly Conducting (CuS)x:(ZnS)1-xNanocomposite Thin Films and Fabrication of Si Heterojunction Solar Cells

  • Author(s): Xu, X
  • Bullock, J
  • Schelhas, LT
  • Stutz, EZ
  • Fonseca, JJ
  • Hettick, M
  • Pool, VL
  • Tai, KF
  • Toney, MF
  • Fang, X
  • Javey, A
  • Wong, LH
  • Ager, JW
  • et al.

© 2016 American Chemical Society. P-type transparent conducting films of nanocrystalline (CuS)x:(ZnS)1-xwere synthesized by facile and low-cost chemical bath deposition. Wide angle X-ray scattering (WAXS) and high resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) were used to evaluate the nanocomposite structure, which consists of sub-5 nm crystallites of sphalerite ZnS and covellite CuS. Film transparency can be controlled by tuning the size of the nanocrystallites, which is achieved by adjusting the concentration of the complexing agent during growth; optimal films have optical transmission above 70% in the visible range of the spectrum. The hole conductivity increases with the fraction of the covellite phase and can be as high as 1000 S cm-1, which is higher than most reported p-type transparent materials and approaches that of n-type transparent materials such as indium tin oxide (ITO) and aluminum doped zinc oxide (AZO) synthesized at a similar temperature. Heterojunction p-(CuS)x:(ZnS)1-x/n-Si solar cells were fabricated with the nanocomposite film serving as a hole-selective contact. Under 1 sun illumination, an open circuit voltage of 535 mV was observed. This value compares favorably to other emerging heterojunction Si solar cells which use a low temperature process to fabricate the contact, such as single-walled carbon nanotube/Si (370-530 mV) and graphene/Si (360-552 mV).

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