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Metal-doped chalcogenides for all-solution processed thin film solar cells

Grant number: 18/26005-2
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Post-doctor
Effective date (Start): March 18, 2019
Effective date (End): March 17, 2020
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Chemistry - Physical-Chemistry
Principal researcher:Lucia Helena Mascaro Sales
Grantee:Marcos Antonio Santana Andrade Junior
Supervisor abroad: Hugh Hillhouse
Home Institution: Centro de Ciências Exatas e de Tecnologia (CCET). Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCAR). São Carlos , SP, Brazil
Research place: University of Washington, United States  
Associated to the scholarship:17/15144-9 - Metal-doped chalcogenides for application in intermediate band solar cells, BP.PD


Chalcogenide thin-film solar cells may be able to out-compete silicon solar cells based on initial capital expenditure requirements and the ultimate cost of electricity ($/W) due to their high efficiency and low cost. The chalcogenides that have been commonly used as absorber materials are CIS, CIGS, and CZTS. They present some advantages of having a direct and tunable band gap (1.0 - 2.5 eV), high absorption coefficient (>104 cm-1). Solution processable deposition approaches for the fabrication of solar cells attracts a great deal attention due to its lower capital cost of the manufacturing than the vacuum-based techniques. In this project, we propose the use of a low-cost method of deposition for the chalcogenides absorber layers by spray-coating, which is already widely employed in several fields of industries. In addition, we intend to increase the photovoltaic (PV) performance of the devices by discovering optimal doping formulations to passivate defects, increase carrier concentration, or even create intermediate bands. Already, breakthroughs have been made in CZTS via lithium doping (discovered by the Hillhouse Group) and in CIGS via potassium doping. Here, we will investigate the effect of Mn, Co, Ni, Sb, and Bi dopants primarily in CIS, CIGS, and CZTS materials. A large number of absorber materials will be first rapidly screened with photoluminescence (PL) and photoconductivity (PC) measurements to determine the quasi-Fermi level splitting (QFLS) and the carrier diffusion length (Ld), respectively. These are material-level indicators for the PV device open circuit voltage (Voc) and short-circuit current (Jsc) The most promising materials will be explored further and fabricated into solar cells and tested under 1 Sun standard testing conditions to measure the Voc, Jsc, and light-to-electricity power conversion efficiency (PCE).

Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
DIAS, JEFERSON A.; ANDRADE JR, MARCOS A. S.; SANTOS, HUGO L. S.; MORELLI, MARCIO R.; MASCARO, LUCIA H. Lanthanum-Based Perovskites for Catalytic Oxygen Evolution Reaction. CHEMELECTROCHEM, v. 7, n. 15 JUN 2020. Web of Science Citations: 1.

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