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Low-Temperature Atomic Layer Deposition of CuSbS2 for Thin-Film Photovoltaics

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journal contribution
posted on 24.01.2017, 17:04 by Shannon C. Riha, Alexandra A. Koegel, Jonathan D. Emery, Michael J. Pellin, Alex B. F. Martinson
Copper antimony sulfide (CuSbS2) has been gaining traction as an earth-abundant absorber for thin-film photovoltaics given its near ideal band gap for solar energy conversion (∼1.5 eV), large absorption coefficient (>104 cm–1), and elemental abundance. Through careful in situ analysis of the deposition conditions, a low-temperature route to CuSbS2 thin films via atomic layer deposition has been developed. After a short (15 min) postprocess anneal at 225 °C, the ALD-grown CuSbS2 films were crystalline with micron-sized grains, exhibited a band gap of 1.6 eV and an absorption coefficient >104 cm–1, as well as a hole concentration of 1015 cm–3. Finally, the ALD-grown CuSbS2 films were paired with ALD-grown TiO2 to form a photovoltaic device. This photovoltaic device architecture represents one of a very limited number of Cd-free CuSbS2 PV device stacks reported to date, and it is the first to demonstrate an open-circuit voltage on par with CuSbS2/CdS heterojunction PV devices. While far from optimized, this work demonstrates the potential for ALD-grown CuSbS2 thin films in environmentally benign photovoltaics.