Sb2Se3, a binary compound containing non-toxic and Earth-abundant constituents, is a promising absorber material for low-cost, high-efficiency photovoltaics. Current Sb2Se3 thin-film solar cells use toxic CdS as the buffer layer and suffer from unsatisfactory stability. Here we selected ZnO as the buffer layer and constructed superstrate Sb2Se3 solar cells with a certified power conversion efficiency of 5.93%. Randomly oriented ZnO produced by spray pyrolysis induced the growth of Sb2Se3 with preferred  orientation, and hence resulted in devices with fewer interfacial defects and better efficiency. Moreover, our unencapsulated device survived the stringent damp-heat (85 ∘C, 85% humidity, 1,100 h), light-soaking (50 ∘C, 1.3 sun, 1,100 h), thermal cycling, and ultraviolet preconditioning tests. The combined features of stability, Earth-abundant constituent and potentially low-cost manufacturing highlight the great potential of Sb2Se3 solar cell as a possible non-toxic alternative to CdTe photovoltaics.
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This work was financially supported by the Major State Basic Research Development Program of China (2016YFB0700700, 2016YFA0204000), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (91433105, 61322401, 11474273 and 51602114), and the Special Fund for Strategic New Development of Shenzhen, China (JCYJ20160414102210144). H. Deng was also supported by the Youth Innovation Promotion Association of CAS (2017154). The authors thank the Analytical and Testing Center of HUST and the facility support of the Center for Nanoscale Characterization and Devices, WNLO. We also thank B. Yang for X-ray diffraction measurements, and thank A. Mei and H. Han for providing the ultraviolet test facility and R. Chen for her help in atomic-layer-deposited Al2O3.
The authors declare no competing financial interests.
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Wang, L., Li, D., Li, K. et al. Stable 6%-efficient Sb2Se3 solar cells with a ZnO buffer layer. Nat Energy 2, 17046 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1038/nenergy.2017.46
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