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Core–Shell CdS–Cu2S Nanorod Array Solar Cells


As an earth-abundant p-type semiconductor, copper sulfide (Cu2S) is an attractive material for application in photovoltaic devices. However, it suffers from a minority carrier diffusion length that is less than the length required for complete light absorption. Core-shell nanowires and nanorods have the potential to alleviate this difficulty because they decouple the length scales of light absorption and charge collection. To achieve this geometry using Cu2S, cation exchange was applied to an array of CdS nanorods to produce well-defined CdS-Cu2S core-shell nanorods. Previous work has demonstrated single-nanowire photovoltaic devices from this material system, but in this work, the cation exchange chemistry has been applied to nanorod arrays to produce ensemble-level devices with microscale sizes. The core-shell nanorod array devices show power conversion efficiencies of up to 3.8%. In addition, these devices are stable when measured in air after nearly one month of storage in a desiccator. These results are a first step in the development of large-area nanostructured Cu2S-based photovoltaics that can be processed from solution.

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