Real-time electron nanoscopy of photovoltaic absorber formation from kesterite nanoparticles

Yongtao Qu, See Wee Chee, Martial Duchamp, Stephen Campbell, Guillaume Zoppi, Vincent Barrioz, Yvelin Giret, Thomas J. Penfold, Apoorva Chaturvedi, Utkur Mirsaidov, Neil Beattie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
17 Downloads (Pure)


Cu2ZnSnS4 nanocrystals are annealed in a Se-rich atmosphere inside a transmission electron microscope. During the heating phase, a complete S-Se exchange reaction occurs while the cation sublattice and morphology of the nanocrystals are preserved. At the annealing temperature, growth of large Cu2ZnSnSe4 grains with increased cation ordering is observed in real-time. This
yields an annealing protocol which is transferred to an industrially-similar solar cell fabrication process resulting in a 33% increase in the device open circuit voltage. The approach can be applied to improve the performance of any photovoltaic technology that requires annealing because of the criticality of the process step.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)122-128
JournalACS Applied Energy Materials
Issue number1
Early online date19 Dec 2019
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jan 2020


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