Chalcogen Polymers for Completely Solution-Processed Inorganic Photovoltaics
Martin, Trevor R.
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Chalcopyrite materials such as CuInSxSe2-x (CISSe), the gallium alloy variant CuInxGa1-xSySe2-y (CIGSSe), and the earth-abundant kesterite material Cu2ZnSnSxSe4-x (CZTSSe) possess a range of properties that are ideally suited for thin-film photovoltaics (PV) applications. Although these materials are beginning to see some commercial success, they are manufactured using complicated and expensive techniques such as high temperature processing, vacuum deposition methods, and vapor-phase reactions. These production methods require an exorbitantly large capital investment to create new manufacturing facilities, which severely hampers the widespread and rapid deployment of these emerging solar energy technologies. This work has focused on developing novel chalcogen polymers to synthesize nanoparticles and produce thin-films for printed photovoltaics applications. This new method provides a pathway towards using chalcogen copolymers to produce these materials via a completely solution-processed, low-temperature fabrication procedure. This technique constitutes one of the first viable means to produce low-bandgap chalcogenides without additional vapor-phase or high-temperature reactions. Therefore, this process can potentially be implemented to rapidly and cheaply manufacture printed chalcopyrite and kesterite photovoltaics.