physica status solidi (a)

Cover image for Vol. 214 Issue 9

Editor: Stefan Hildebrandt (Editor-in-Chief), Sabine Bahrs (Deputy Editor)

Online ISSN: 1862-6319

Associated Title(s): physica status solidi (b), physica status solidi (c), physica status solidi (RRL) - Rapid Research Letters

209_06/2012Front Cover: Cu2ZnSnSe4 absorbers processed from solution deposited metal salt precursors under different selenization conditions (Phys. Status Solidi A 6/2012)

Thin film solar cells based on low cost and earth-abundant or readily available elements, Cu2ZnSnSe4 or Cu2ZnSnSe4 (called kesterites according to their crystal structure), have received increasing interest during the last years since they have suitable physical properties for photovoltaics. A variety of vacuum and non-vacuum deposition methods have resulted in highest conversion efficiencies of about 10%. The metal ratios of the thin layers strongly influence the solar cell device efficiency. Therefore, it is very important to understand whether initial metal ratios are retained in the sulfurized/selenized layer or any losses occur due to the formation of volatile phases that originate during the precursor conversion. One reason for deviations in the metal composition is the thermal decomposition of kesterites at elevated temperatures in combination with low selenium vapor pressure. Fella et al. (pp. 1043–1048) report on controlling the overall composition of selenized Cu2ZnSnSe4 layers. A simple, sustainable, and low cost solution approach is employed for depositing the metal precursor. The cover image illustrates the precursor solutions and the secondary electron micrograph of a Cu2ZnSnSe4 absorber resulting in a highest conversion efficiency of 4.3%.

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