Crystalline Antimony Selenide Thin Films for Optoelectronics through Photonic Curing

Udari Wijesinghe, William D. Tetlow, Pietro Maiello, Nicole Fleck, Graeme O'Dowd, Neil S. Beattie, Giulia Longo*, Oliver S. Hutter*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Thermal annealing is the most common postdeposition technique used to crystallize antimony selenide (Sb2Se3) thin films. However, due to slow processing speeds and a high energy cost, it is incompatible with the upscaling and commercialization of Sb2Se3 for future photovoltaics. Herein, for the first time, a fast-annealing technique that uses millisecond light pulses to deliver energy to the sample is adapted to cure thermally evaporated Sb2Se3 films. This study demonstrates how photonic curing (PC) conditions affect the outcome of Sb2Se3 phase conversion from amorphous to crystalline by evaluating the films’ crystalline, morphological, and optical properties. We show that Sb2Se3 is readily converted under a variety of different conditions, but the zone where suitable films for optoelectronic applications are obtained is a small region of the parameter space. Sb2Se3 annealing with short pulses (<3 ms) shows significant damage to the sample, while using longer pulses (>5 ms) and a 4–5 J cm–2 radiant energy produces (211)- and (221)-oriented crystalline Sb2Se3 with minimal to no damage to the sample. A proof-of-concept photonically cured Sb2Se3 photovoltaic device is demonstrated. PC is a promising annealing method for large-area, high-throughput annealing of Sb2Se3 with various potential applications in Sb2Se3 photovoltaics.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6027-6037
Number of pages11
JournalChemistry of Materials
Issue number12
Early online date7 Jun 2024
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jun 2024

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