Polyol process synthesis of metal selenide nanomaterials and their photovoltaic application
A mixed solvent of monoethanolamine and thioglycolic acid is successfully used to dissolve Se powder to prepare a highly reactive and soluble Se solution at room temperature in air. The as-prepared Se solution is very stable for more than half a year without any observed precipitation even in air. We used the Se precursor solution to synthesize various metal selenide nanomaterials such as Sb2Se3 nanorods, CuSe nanoplates and CuInSe2 nanocrystals by using a facile and environmentally-friendly triethylene glycol process. The structure, morphology, chemical composition and optical properties of the synthesized metal selenide nanomaterials are characterized. Moreover, the CuInSe2 nanocrystals are used to prepare ethanol-based colloidal ink and then deposited thin films by a dip-coating process. The synthesized CuInSe2 nanocrystal thin films are annealed at 550 °C in a selenizing atmosphere. A power conversion efficiency of 2.65% has been achieved by using the CuInSe2 thin films after selenization as a light-absorbing layer under AM 1.5 illumination.