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Issue 21, 2016
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Selective removal of Cu2−x(S,Se) phases from Cu2ZnSn(S,Se)4 thin films

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Abstract

The selective removal of Cu2−x(S,Se) impurity phases from Cu2ZnSn(S,Se)4 (CZTSSe) and Cu(In,Ga)Se2 (CIGS) thin films is a major barrier to achieving high efficiencies in solar cells based on these films. A toxic and hazardous potassium cyanide (KCN) solution is commonly used as a selective etchant to remove Cu2−x(S,Se) from CZTSSe and CIGS thin films. Herein, we report the selective removal of Cu2−x(S,Se) compounds from kesterite CZTSSe thin films using a mixture of ethylenediamine and 2-mercaptoethanol, a safer chemical mixture than KCN. We found that Cu2−xS and kesterite CZTS nanocrystals dissolve in this mixture in seconds and 6 hours, respectively, while wurtzite CZTS nanocrystals do not dissolve even after 6 hours. Etching CZTSSe thin films containing small amounts of Cu2−x(S,Se) phases for 20 minutes removes the Cu2−x(S,Se) phases completely.

Graphical abstract: Selective removal of Cu2−x(S,Se) phases from Cu2ZnSn(S,Se)4 thin films

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Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
09 May 2016
Accepted
08 Aug 2016
First published
08 Aug 2016

Green Chem., 2016,18, 5814-5821
Article type
Paper

Selective removal of Cu2−x(S,Se) phases from Cu2ZnSn(S,Se)4 thin films

A. H. Pinto, S. W. Shin, E. S. Aydil and R. L. Penn, Green Chem., 2016, 18, 5814
DOI: 10.1039/C6GC01287F

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