Kesterite Films Processed with Organic Solvents: Unveiling the Impact of Carbon-Rich Fine-Grain-Layer Formation on Solar-Cell Performance

Ahmed Javed, Doguscan Donmez, Michael Jones, Yongtao Qu*, Gorkem Gunbas, Selçuk Yerci*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Solution‐processed kesterite (copper zinc tin sulfide [CZTS]) solar cells attract significant attention owing to their low cost, ease of large‐scale production, and earth‐abundant elemental composition, which make these devices promising to fulfill the ever‐increasing demand of the photovoltaic (PV) industry. Compared to the performances of expensive vacuum‐based techniques, colloidal nanocrystal kesterite solar cells garner substantial interest due to their economical and rapid processing. Led by the hot‐injection method, organic solvent‐based techniques are widely adopted to realize CZTS nanocrystal inks. With organic solvents, ligand‐stabilized nanoparticles are formed leading to dispersive and homogenous kesterite inks. However, the presence of carbon‐rich ligands around the nanocrystal surface often leads to the formation of a fine‐grain layer that is rich in carbon content. The organic ligands decompose into amorphous carbon residues during a high‐temperature annealing process and hinder the grain growth process. The carbon‐rich fine‐grain (CRFG) layer generally poses a negative influence on the PV performance of the kesterite solar cell; however, few reports maintain their disposition about CRFG as innocuous. In this review study, a detailed discussion on CRFG is presented, aiming to understand the insights about its formation and impact on the device's performance.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2400646
Number of pages28
JournalEnergy Technology
Early online date30 Jun 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 30 Jun 2024

Cite this