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Issue 6, 2017
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Candidate photoferroic absorber materials for thin-film solar cells from naturally occurring minerals: enargite, stephanite, and bournonite

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Abstract

To build on the success of other mineral systems employed in solar cells, including kesterites (Cu2ZnSnS4) and herzenbergite (SnS), as well as mineral-inspired systems such as lead halide perovskites (CH3NH3PbI3), we have searched for photoactive minerals with the additional constraint that a polar crystal structure is adopted. Macroscopic electric fields provide a driving force to separate electrons and holes in semiconductor devices, while spontaneous lattice polarisation in polar semiconductors can facilitate microscopic photo-carrier separation to enhance carrier stability and lifetimes. We identify enargite (Cu3AsS4), stephanite (Ag5SbS4), and bournonite (CuPbSbS3) as candidate materials and explore their chemical bonding and physical properties using a first-principles quantum mechanical approach.

Graphical abstract: Candidate photoferroic absorber materials for thin-film solar cells from naturally occurring minerals: enargite, stephanite, and bournonite

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Article information


Submitted
05 Jun 2017
Accepted
28 Jun 2017
First published
28 Jun 2017

This article is Open Access

Sustainable Energy Fuels, 2017,1, 1339-1350
Article type
Paper

Candidate photoferroic absorber materials for thin-film solar cells from naturally occurring minerals: enargite, stephanite, and bournonite

S. K. Wallace, Katrine L. Svane, W. P. Huhn, T. Zhu, D. B. Mitzi, V. Blum and A. Walsh, Sustainable Energy Fuels, 2017, 1, 1339
DOI: 10.1039/C7SE00277G

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