Evidence for Self-healing Benign Grain Boundaries and a Highly Defective Sb2Se3–CdS Interfacial Layer in Sb2Se3 Thin-Film Photovoltaics

Rhys E. Williams, Quentin M. Ramasse, Keith P. McKenna, Laurie J. Phillips, Peter J. Yates, Oliver Hutter, Ken Durose, Jonathan D. Major, Budhika G. Mendis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The crystal structure of Sb2Se3 gives rise to unique properties that cannot otherwise be achieved with conventional thin-film photovoltaic materials, such as CdTe or Cu(In,Ga)Se2. It has previously been proposed that grain boundaries can be made benign provided only the weak van der Waals forces between the (Sb4Se6)n ribbons are disrupted. Here, it is shown that non-radiative recombination is suppressed even for grain boundaries cutting across the (Sb4Se6)n ribbons. This is due to a remarkable self-healing process, whereby atoms at the grain boundary can relax to remove any electronic defect states within the band gap. Grain boundaries can, however, impede charge transport due to the fact that carriers have a higher mobility along the (Sb4Se6)n ribbons. Because of the ribbon misorientation, certain grain boundaries can effectively block charge collection. Furthermore, it is shown that CdS is not a suitable emitter to partner Sb2Se3 due to Sb and Se interdiffusion. As a result, a highly defective Sb2Se3 interfacial layer is formed that potentially reduces device efficiency through interface recombination.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21730-21738
Number of pages9
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Volume23
Issue number19
Early online date21 Apr 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 13 May 2020

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