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Keywords:

  • zinc oxide;
  • anodic alumina;
  • electrodeposition;
  • impedance spectroscopy;
  • photovoltaic

Abstract

A novel buffering method is presented to improve the stability of zinc oxide processed in aqueous solutions. By buffering the aqueous solution with a suitable quantity of sacrificial zinc species, the dissolution of functional zinc oxide structures and the formation of unwanted impurities can be prevented. The method is demonstrated for ZnO films and nanowires processed in aqueous solutions used for the selective etching of mesoporous anodic alumina templates and the electrochemical deposition of Cu2O. In both cases, improved ZnO stability is observed with the buffering method. ZnO-Cu2O heterojunction solar cells (bilayer and nanowire cells) synthesized using both traditional and buffered deposition methods are characterized by impedance spectroscopy and solar simulation measurements. Buffering the Cu2O deposition solution is found to reduce unwanted recombination at the heterojunction and improve the photovoltaic performance.