Defect physics of the kesterite thin-film solar cell absorber Cu(2)ZnSnS(4)

S Y Chen, X G Gong, Aron Walsh, S H Wei

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523 Citations (SciVal)


Cu(2)ZnSnS(4) is one of the most promising quaternary absorber materials for thin-film solar cells. Examination of the thermodynamic stability of this quaternary compound reveals that the stable chemical potential region for the formation of stoichiometric compound is small. Under these conditions, the dominant defect will be p-type Cu(Zn) antisite, which has an acceptor level deeper than the Cu vacancy. The dominant self-compensated defect pair in this quaternary compound is [Cu(Zn)(-)+Zn(Cu)(+)](0), which leads to the formation of various polytype structures of Cu(2)ZnSnS(4). We propose that to maximize the solar cell performance, growth of Cu(2)ZnSnS(4) under Cu-poor/Zn-rich conditions will be optimal, if the precipitation of ZnS can be avoided by kinetic barriers.
Original languageEnglish
Article number021902
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • impurity states
  • antisite defects
  • thin film devices
  • photovoltaics
  • surfaces
  • crystal structure
  • cuinse2
  • vacancies (crystal)
  • zinc compounds
  • nanocrystals
  • precipitation
  • solar cells
  • ternary semiconductors
  • copper compounds
  • stoichiometry
  • thermodynamics


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