Breakthrough to non-vacuum deposition of single-crystal, ultra-thin, homogeneous nanoparticle layers: A better alternative to chemical bath deposition and atomic layer deposition

Yu Kuang Liao, Yung Tsung Liu, Dan Hua Hsieh, Tien Lin Shen, Ming Yang Hsieh, An Jye Tzou, Shih Chen Chen, Yu Lin Tsai, Wei Sheng Lin, Sheng Wen Chan, Yen Ping Shen, Shun-Jen Cheng, Chyong Hua Chen, Kaung-Hsiung Wu, Hao Ming Chen, Shou Yi Kuo, Martin D.B. Charlton*, Tung Po Hsieh, Hao-Chung Kuo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Most thin-film techniques require a multiple vacuum process, and cannot produce high-coverage continuous thin filmswith the thickness of a fewnanometers on rough surfaces. We present a new ”paradigm shift” non-vacuum process to deposit high-quality, ultra-thin, single-crystal layers of coalesced sulfide nanoparticles (NPs) with controllable thickness down to a few nanometers, based on thermal decomposition. This provides high-coverage, homogeneous thickness, and large-area deposition over a rough surface, with little material loss or liquid chemical waste, and deposition rates of 10 nm/min. This technique can potentially replace conventional thin-film deposition methods, such as atomic layer deposition (ALD) and chemical bath deposition (CBD) as used by the Cu(In,Ga)Se2 (CIGS) thin-film solar cell industry for decades. We demonstrate 32% improvement of CIGS thin-film solar cell efficiency in comparison to reference devices prepared by conventional CBD deposition method by depositing the ZnS NPs buffer layer using the new process. The new ZnS NPs layer allows reduction of an intrinsic ZnO layer, which can lead to severe shunt leakage in case of a CBD buffer layer. This leads to a 65% relative efficiency increase.

Original languageEnglish
Article number78
JournalNanomaterials
Volume7
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 6 Apr 2017

Keywords

  • Atomic layer deposition
  • Chemical bath deposition
  • Nanoparticles
  • Thermolysis
  • Thin-film deposition

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