Topic Editors

Faculty of Chemical Engineering and Technology, University of Zagreb, Marulićev trg 20, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia
Faculty of Chemical Engineering and Technology, University of Zagreb, Trg Marka Marulića 20, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia
Dr. Ivana Capan
Ruđer Bošković Institute, Bijenička 54, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia
Institute Ruder Boskovic, Zagreb, Croatia

Thin-Film Photovoltaics: Constituents and Devices

Abstract submission deadline
closed (1 October 2023)
Manuscript submission deadline
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Topic Information

Dear Colleagues,

As a researcher that focuses on thin-film materials for photovoltaic (PV), sensing, photocatalytic and other optoelectronic applications, I have observed a conceptual opportunity for joining a plethora of similar reports under the frame of a new Topic, “Thin-Film Photovoltaics: Constituents and Devices”. Existing journals often host PV-related reports, though with limited PV recognition. I am confident that this Topic can foster visibility for reports related to thin-film solar cells. Thin-film (TF) PV systems are of particular interest as they struggle in their transition from fundamental research into commercially available solutions. Generally, TFPVs are cheap but with limited efficiencies, so to boost the extent of the ongoing early stage research grouping of reports (theoretical and experimental) on TFPV science, as well as TFPV constituents, processing, modeling and performance, a favorable strategy arises for advancing the in-depth understanding of the mechanisms behind the design of PV systems and TF constituents. Particularly preferred are reports that condense interdisciplinary information, corroborating well with the complex multidisciplinary technical nature of emerging TFPV systems. The Topic aims to publish research relevant to TFPV: (1) design—novel compositions, compounds, morphologies, structures, concepts, modeling; (2) synthesis—new routes and modifications, constituents, development, and post-processing; (3) deposition—new routes, modifications, tools, and development; (4) characterization—techniques monitoring (micro)structural, optoelectronic, thermodynamic, and other materials’ repercussions, including novel or particularly complex in situ or in operando multi-technique experiments; (5) compatibility—interfacing issues (surface compatibility, boundary conditions); (6) functionality—performance, testing, and stability. Subsections: o Preparation and characterization of general TFPV constituent materials and layers o Perovskite TF solar cells (PSC) o Organic TF photovoltaics (OPV) o Quantum dot TF solar cells (QDSC) o CIGS, CZTS, CdTe TF photovoltaics o Dye-sensitized TF solar cells (DSSC) o Modeling and computing TF performance

Dr. Vilko Mandić
Dr. Ivana Panžić
Dr. Ivana Capan
Dr. Luka Pavić
Topic Editors

Keywords

  • photovoltaics
  • solar cells
  • nanomaterials
  • nanostructuring
  • deposition techniques
  • physical deposition methods
  • wet chemistry
  • charge transfer
  • efficiency
  • surface phenomena
  • interfaces
  • space charge
  • charge transfer layers
  • transparent conductive layers
  • photoabsorbers

Participating Journals

Journal Name Impact Factor CiteScore Launched Year First Decision (median) APC
Catalysts
catalysts
3.9 6.3 2011 14.3 Days CHF 2700
Coatings
coatings
3.4 4.7 2011 13.8 Days CHF 2600
Materials
materials
3.4 5.2 2008 13.9 Days CHF 2600
Molecules
molecules
4.6 6.7 1996 14.6 Days CHF 2700
Nanomaterials
nanomaterials
5.3 7.4 2010 13.6 Days CHF 2900

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Published Papers (8 papers)

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31 pages, 4894 KiB  
Review
Advancements and Prospects in Perovskite Solar Cells: From Hybrid to All-Inorganic Materials
by Fernando Velcic Maziviero, Dulce M. A. Melo, Rodolfo L. B. A. Medeiros, Ângelo A. S. Oliveira, Heloísa P. Macedo, Renata M. Braga and Edisson Morgado, Jr.
Nanomaterials 2024, 14(4), 332; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano14040332 - 08 Feb 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1511
Abstract
Hybrid perovskites, materials composed of metals and organic substances in their structure, have emerged as potential materials for the new generation of photovoltaic cells due to a unique combination of optical, excitonic and electrical properties. Inspired by sensitization techniques on TiO2 substrates [...] Read more.
Hybrid perovskites, materials composed of metals and organic substances in their structure, have emerged as potential materials for the new generation of photovoltaic cells due to a unique combination of optical, excitonic and electrical properties. Inspired by sensitization techniques on TiO2 substrates (DSSC), CH3NH3PbBr3 and CH3NH3PbI3 perovskites were studied as a light-absorbing layer as well as an electron–hole pair generator. Photovoltaic cells based on per-ovskites have electron and hole transport layers (ETL and HTL, respectively), separated by an ac-tive layer composed of perovskite itself. Major advances subsequently came in the preparation methods of these devices and the development of different architectures, which resulted in an efficiency exceeding 23% in less than 10 years. Problems with stability are the main barrier to the large-scale production of hybrid perovskites. Partially or fully inorganic perovskites appear promising to circumvent the instability problem, among which the black perovskite phase CsPbI3 (α-CsPbI3) can be highlighted. In more advanced studies, a partial or total substitution of Pb by Ge, Sn, Sb, Bi, Cu or Ti is proposed to mitigate potential toxicity problems and maintain device efficiency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Thin-Film Photovoltaics: Constituents and Devices)
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14 pages, 3706 KiB  
Article
Synergistic Zinc(II) and Formate Doping of Perovskites: Thermal Phase Stabilization of α-FAPbI3 and Enhanced Photoluminescence Lifetime of FA0.8MA0.2PbI3 up to 3.7 µs
by Merk M. Hoeksma and René M. Williams
Molecules 2024, 29(2), 516; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules29020516 - 20 Jan 2024
Viewed by 735
Abstract
Adding zinc (II) cations and formate anions improves the thermal phase stability of α-FAPbI3 materials, and the spin-coated thin films of such doped FAPbI3 (produced using MACl) show an increased emission lifetime of up to 3.7 μs on quartz (for FA [...] Read more.
Adding zinc (II) cations and formate anions improves the thermal phase stability of α-FAPbI3 materials, and the spin-coated thin films of such doped FAPbI3 (produced using MACl) show an increased emission lifetime of up to 3.7 μs on quartz (for FA0.8MA0.2PbI3). This work investigates the effects of zinc and formate on the phase stability and time-resolved photoluminescence of FAPbI3 perovskites for solar cell applications. Perovskite samples with varying concentrations of zinc and formate were made by incorporating different amounts of zinc formate and zinc iodide and were characterized with XRD. Doping levels of 1.7% Zn(II) and 1.0% formate (relative to Pb) seem optimal. The thermal phase stability of the doped perovskite powders (FAPbI3) and thin films (FA0.8MA0.2PbI3) was assessed. XRD of the thin films after 6 months shows only the alpha-phase. The time-resolved photoluminescence spectroscopy of the doped spin-coated perovskite samples (FA0.8MA0.2PbI3 produced using MACl) is reported. The results show that synergy between an anionic and a cationic dopant can take place, making the perovskite thermally more phase-stable (not converting to the yellow delta-phase) with a longer charge carrier lifetime. In order to produce good thin films by spin coating, the use of MACl was essential. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Thin-Film Photovoltaics: Constituents and Devices)
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11 pages, 1851 KiB  
Article
Numerical Simulation and Performance Optimization of a Solar Cell Based on WO3/CdTe Heterostructure Using NiO as HTL Layer by SCAPS 1D
by José Carlos Zepeda Medina, Enrique Rosendo Andrés, Crisóforo Morales Ruíz, Eduardo Camacho Espinosa, Leticia Treviño Yarce, Reina Galeazzi Isasmendi, Román Romano Trujillo, Godofredo García Salgado, Antonio Coyopol Solis and Fabiola Gabriela Nieto Caballero
Coatings 2023, 13(8), 1436; https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings13081436 - 15 Aug 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1380
Abstract
In this paper, a solar cell based on WO3/CdTe heterojunction was analyzed and optimized, for which the following structure of the Al/AZO/WO3/CdTe/NiO/Ni device was proposed, which was numerically simulated by the SCAPS 1-D software. Using the [...] Read more.
In this paper, a solar cell based on WO3/CdTe heterojunction was analyzed and optimized, for which the following structure of the Al/AZO/WO3/CdTe/NiO/Ni device was proposed, which was numerically simulated by the SCAPS 1-D software. Using the software, the effect of the thickness and carrier concentration of the absorber layer (CdTe) and the window layer (WO3) was analyzed, and the optimal value of these parameters was found to be 2 µm and 1015 cm3 for the CdTe layer and 10 nm and 1019 cm3 for the WO3 layer, respectively. The influence of the defect density of the WO3/CdTe interface on the performance of the proposed cell was also analyzed, simulating from 1010 to 1016 cm2, obtaining better device performance at lower interface defect density. Another parameter analyzed was the operating temperature on the photovoltaic performance of the device, observing that the solar cell has a better performance at lower temperatures. Finally, a maximum optimized PCE of 19.87% is obtained with a Voc = 0.85 V, Jsc = 28.45 mA/cm2, and FF = 82.03%, which makes the WO3/CdTe heterojunction an interesting alternative for the development of CdTe-based solar cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Thin-Film Photovoltaics: Constituents and Devices)
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12 pages, 5450 KiB  
Article
Antimony Selenide Solar Cells Fabricated by Hybrid Reactive Magnetron Sputtering
by Daniel Brito, Pedro Anacleto, Ana Pérez-Rodríguez, José Fonseca, Pedro Santos, Marina Alves, Alessandro Cavalli, Deepanjan Sharma, Marcel S. Claro, Nicoleta Nicoara and Sascha Sadewasser
Nanomaterials 2023, 13(15), 2257; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano13152257 - 05 Aug 2023
Viewed by 1154
Abstract
The fabrication of Sb2Se3 thin-film solar cells deposited by a pulsed hybrid reactive magnetron sputtering (PHRMS) was proposed and examined for different growth conditions. The influence of growth temperature and Se pulse period were studied in terms of morphology, crystal [...] Read more.
The fabrication of Sb2Se3 thin-film solar cells deposited by a pulsed hybrid reactive magnetron sputtering (PHRMS) was proposed and examined for different growth conditions. The influence of growth temperature and Se pulse period were studied in terms of morphology, crystal structure, and composition. The Sb2Se3 growth showed to be dependent on the growth temperature, with a larger crystal size for growth at 270 °C. By controlling the Se pulse period, the crystal structure and crystal size could be modified as a function of the supplied Se amount. The solar cell performance for Sb2Se3 absorbers deposited at various temperatures, Se pulse periods and thicknesses were assessed through current-voltage characteristics. A power conversion efficiency (PCE) of 3.7% was achieved for a Sb2Se3 solar cell with 900 nm thickness, Sb2Se3 deposited at 270 °C and Se pulses with 0.1 s duration and period of 0.5 s. Finally, annealing the complete solar cell at 100 °C led to a further improvement of the Voc, leading to a PCE of 3.8%, slightly higher than the best reported Sb2Se3 solar cell prepared by sputtering without post-selenization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Thin-Film Photovoltaics: Constituents and Devices)
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32 pages, 13770 KiB  
Review
Hole Transport Materials for Tin-Based Perovskite Solar Cells: Properties, Progress, Prospects
by Xinyao Chen, Jin Cheng, Linfeng He, Longjiang Zhao, Chunqian Zhang, Aiying Pang and Junming Li
Molecules 2023, 28(9), 3787; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28093787 - 28 Apr 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2555
Abstract
The power conversion efficiency of modern perovskite solar cells has surpassed that of commercial photovoltaic technology, showing great potential for commercial applications. However, the current high-performance perovskite solar cells all contain toxic lead elements, blocking their progress toward industrialization. Lead-free tin-based perovskite solar [...] Read more.
The power conversion efficiency of modern perovskite solar cells has surpassed that of commercial photovoltaic technology, showing great potential for commercial applications. However, the current high-performance perovskite solar cells all contain toxic lead elements, blocking their progress toward industrialization. Lead-free tin-based perovskite solar cells have attracted tremendous research interest, and more than 14% power conversion efficiency has been achieved. In tin-based perovskite, Sn2+ is easily oxidized to Sn4+ in air. During this process, two additional electrons are introduced to form a heavy p-type doping perovskite layer, necessitating the production of hole transport materials different from that of lead-based perovskite devices or organic solar cells. In this review, for the first time, we summarize the hole transport materials used in the development of tin-based perovskite solar cells, describe the impact of different hole transport materials on the performance of tin-based perovskite solar cell devices, and summarize the recent progress of hole transport materials. Lastly, the development direction of lead-free tin-based perovskite devices in terms of hole transport materials is discussed based on their current development status. This comprehensive review contributes to the development of efficient, stable, and environmentally friendly tin-based perovskite devices and provides guidance for the hole transport layer material design. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Thin-Film Photovoltaics: Constituents and Devices)
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10 pages, 2942 KiB  
Article
Investigation on Preparation and Performance of High Ga CIGS Absorbers and Their Solar Cells
by Xiaoyu Lv, Zilong Zheng, Ming Zhao, Hanpeng Wang and Daming Zhuang
Materials 2023, 16(7), 2806; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma16072806 - 31 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1334
Abstract
Tandem solar cells usually use a wide band gap absorber for top cell. The band gap of CuIn(1−x)GaxSe2 can be changed from 1.04 eV to 1.68 eV with the ratio of Ga/(In+Ga) from 0 to 1. When the [...] Read more.
Tandem solar cells usually use a wide band gap absorber for top cell. The band gap of CuIn(1−x)GaxSe2 can be changed from 1.04 eV to 1.68 eV with the ratio of Ga/(In+Ga) from 0 to 1. When the ratio of Ga/(In+Ga) is over 0.7, the band gap of CIGS absorber is over 1.48 eV. CIGS absorber with a high Ga content is a possible candidate one for the top cell. In this work, CuInGa precursors were prepared by magnetron sputtering with CuIn and CuGa targets, and CIGS absorbers were prepared by selenization annealing. The Ga/(In+Ga) is changed by changing the thickness of CuIn and CuGa layers. Additionally, CIGS solar cells were prepared using CdS buffer layer. The effects of Ga content on CIGS thin film and CIGS solar cell were studied. The band gap was measured by PL and EQE. The results show that using structure of CuIn/CuGa precursors can make the band gap of CIGS present a gradient band gap, which can obtain a high open circuit voltage and high short circuit current of the device. With the decrease in Ga content, the efficiency of the solar cell increases gradually. Additionally, the highest efficiency of the CIGS solar cells is 11.58% when the ratio of Ga/(In+Ga) is 0.72. The value of Voc is 702 mV. CIGS with high Ga content shows a great potential for the top cell of the tandem solar cell. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Thin-Film Photovoltaics: Constituents and Devices)
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15 pages, 5418 KiB  
Article
Probing the Interplay between Mo Back Contact Layer Deposition Condition and MoSe2 Layer Formation at the CIGSe/Mo Hetero-Interface
by Fazliyana ‘Izzati Za’abar, Ahmad Wafi Mahmood Zuhdi, Camellia Doroody, Puvaneswaran Chelvanathan, Yulisa Yusoff, Siti Fazlili Abdullah, Mohd. Shaparuddin Bahrudin, Wan Sabeng Wan Adini, Ibrahim Ahmad, Wan Syakirah Wan Abdullah and Nowshad Amin
Materials 2023, 16(6), 2497; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma16062497 - 21 Mar 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1379
Abstract
The effect of Mo thin film deposition power in DC sputtering on the formation of a MoSe2 interfacial layer grown via the annealing of CIGSe/Mo precursors in an Se-free atmosphere was investigated. A Mo layer was deposited on glass substrates using the [...] Read more.
The effect of Mo thin film deposition power in DC sputtering on the formation of a MoSe2 interfacial layer grown via the annealing of CIGSe/Mo precursors in an Se-free atmosphere was investigated. A Mo layer was deposited on glass substrates using the DC magnetron sputtering method. Its electrical resistivity, as well as its morphological, structural, and adhesion characteristics, were analyzed regarding the deposition power. In the case of thinner films of about 300 nm deposited at 80 W, smaller grains and a lower volume percentage of grain boundaries were found, compared to 510 nm thick film with larger agglomerates obtained at 140 W DC power. By increasing the deposition power, in contrast, the conductivity of the Mo film significantly improved with lowest sheet resistance of 0.353 Ω/square for the sample deposited at 140 W. Both structural and Raman spectroscopy outputs confirmed the pronounced formation of MoSe2, resulting from Mo films with predominant (110) orientated planes. Sputtered Mo films deposited at 140 W power improved Mo crystals and the growth of MoSe2 layers with a preferential (103) orientation upon the Se-free annealing. With a more porous Mo surface structure for the sample deposited at higher power, a larger contact area developed between the Mo films and the Se compound was found from the CIGSe film deposited on top of the Mo, favoring the formation of MoSe2. The CIGSe/Mo hetero-contact, including the MoSe2 layer with controlled thickness, is not Schottky-type, but a favourable ohmic-type, as evaluated by the dark I-V measurement at room temperature (RT). These findings support the significance of regulating the thickness of the unintentional MoSe2 layer growth, which is attainable by controlling the Mo deposition power. Furthermore, while the adhesion between the CIGSe absorber layer and the Mo remains intact, the resistance of final devices with the Ni/CIGSe/Mo structure was found to be directly linked to the MoSe2 thickness. Consequently, it addresses the importance of MoSe2 structural properties for improved CIGSe solar cell performance and stability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Thin-Film Photovoltaics: Constituents and Devices)
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16 pages, 12837 KiB  
Article
Optical Absorption in N-Dimensional Colloidal Quantum Dot Arrays: Influence of Stoichiometry and Applications in Intermediate Band Solar Cells
by Rebeca V. H. Hahn, Salvador Rodríguez-Bolívar, Panagiotis Rodosthenous, Erik S. Skibinsky-Gitlin, Marco Califano and Francisco M. Gómez-Campos
Nanomaterials 2022, 12(19), 3387; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano12193387 - 27 Sep 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1289
Abstract
We present a theoretical atomistic study of the optical properties of non-toxic InX (X = P, As, Sb) colloidal quantum dot arrays for application in photovoltaics. We focus on the electronic structure and optical absorption and on their dependence on array dimensionality and [...] Read more.
We present a theoretical atomistic study of the optical properties of non-toxic InX (X = P, As, Sb) colloidal quantum dot arrays for application in photovoltaics. We focus on the electronic structure and optical absorption and on their dependence on array dimensionality and surface stoichiometry motivated by the rapid development of experimental techniques to achieve high periodicity and colloidal quantum dot characteristics. The homogeneous response of colloidal quantum dot arrays to different light polarizations is also investigated. Our results shed light on the optical behaviour of these novel multi-dimensional nanomaterials and identify some of them as ideal building blocks for intermediate band solar cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Thin-Film Photovoltaics: Constituents and Devices)
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