Cation disorder engineering yields AgBiS2 nanocrystals with enhanced optical absorption for efficient ultrathin solar cells

Yongjie Wang, Seán R. Kavanagh, Ignasi Burgués-Ceballos, Aron Walsh, David Scanlon, Gerasimos Konstantatos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Strong optical absorption by a semiconductor is a highly desirable property for many optoelectronic and photovoltaic applications. The optimal thickness of a semiconductor absorber is primarily determined by its absorption coefficient. To date, this parameter has been considered as a fundamental material property, and efforts to realize thinner photovoltaics have relied on light-trapping structures that add complexity and cost. Here we demonstrate that engineering cation disorder in a ternary chalcogenide semiconductor leads to considerable absorption increase due to enhancement of the optical transition matrix elements. We show that cation-disorder-engineered AgBiS2 colloidal nanocrystals offer an absorption coefficient that is higher than other photovoltaic materials, enabling highly efficient extremely thin absorber photovoltaic devices. We report solution-processed, environmentally friendly, 30-nm-thick solar cells with short-circuit current density of 27 mA cm−2, a power conversion efficiency of 9.17% (8.85% certified) and high stability under ambient conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)235-241
Number of pages7
JournalNature Photonics
Volume16
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Mar

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
G.K. acknowledges financial support from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement no. 725165), the Fundació Joan Ribas Araquistain (FJRA), the Fundació Privada Cellex, the program CERCA, EQC2019-005797-P (AEI/FEDER UE), 2017SGR1373 and ‘Severo Ochoa’ Centre of Excellence CEX2019-000910-S funded by the Spanish State Research Agency. Y.W. acknowledges support from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement no. 754558. I.B.-C. acknowledges support from the Government of Catalonia’s Beatriu de Pinós postdoctoral programme (grant no. 2017BP00241). S.R.K. thanks L. Harnett-Caulfield for help with using the alloy theoretic automated toolkit software package and Y.-S. Choi for help with calculating the Madelung potentials; he also acknowledges the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in the Advanced Characterisation of Materials (CDT-ACM) (EP/S023259/1) for funding a PhD studentship. A.W. and D.S. acknowledge the use of the UCL Kathleen High Performance Computing Facility (Kathleen@UCL), the Imperial College Research Computing Service and associated support services. By the membership of the UK’s HEC Materials Chemistry Consortium, which is funded by the EPSRC (EP/L000202, EP/R029431 and EP/T022213), this work used the ARCHER2 UK National Supercomputing Service and the UK Materials and Molecular Modelling (MMM) Hub (Thomas EP/P020194 and Young EP/T022213). D.S. acknowledges support from the EPSRC (EP/N01572X/1) and the European Research Council, ERC (grant no. 758345).

Funding Information:
G.K. acknowledges financial support from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement no. 725165), the Fundació Joan Ribas Araquistain (FJRA), the Fundació Privada Cellex, the program CERCA, EQC2019-005797-P (AEI/FEDER UE), 2017SGR1373 and ‘Severo Ochoa’ Centre of Excellence CEX2019-000910-S funded by the Spanish State Research Agency. Y.W. acknowledges support from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement no. 754558. I.B.-C. acknowledges support from the Government of Catalonia’s Beatriu de Pinós postdoctoral programme (grant no. 2017BP00241). S.R.K. thanks L. Harnett-Caulfield for help with using the alloy theoretic automated toolkit software package and Y.-S. Choi for help with calculating the Madelung potentials; he also acknowledges the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in the Advanced Characterisation of Materials (CDT-ACM) (EP/S023259/1) for funding a PhD studentship. A.W. and D.S. acknowledge the use of the UCL Kathleen High Performance Computing Facility (Kathleen@UCL), the Imperial College Research Computing Service and associated support services. By the membership of the UK’s HEC Materials Chemistry Consortium, which is funded by the EPSRC (EP/L000202, EP/R029431 and EP/T022213), this work used the ARCHER2 UK National Supercomputing Service and the UK Materials and Molecular Modelling (MMM) Hub (Thomas EP/P020194 and Young EP/T022213). D.S. acknowledges support from the EPSRC (EP/N01572X/1) and the European Research Council, ERC (grant no. 758345).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Limited.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics

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