Chalcopyrite thin-film solar cells by industry-compatible ink-based process
We developed a new industry-compatible ink-based process to produce efficient chalcopyrite CuIn1-xGaxSe2 thin-film solar cells. Metallic In and Ga nanoparticles were produced by purely physical methods, using a low-cost and non-explosive solvent. The solvent acts as a protection against oxidation and can be removed without leaving carbon contamination. We formulated inks that can be safely coated in air by doctor blading. The precursors were converted into a functional absorber after annealing under Se vapors in a primary vacuum. This simple two-step process led to chalcopyrite CuIn1-xGaxSe2 thin-films with strong mechanical adhesion, and power conversion efficiency higher than 7%. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.