N-type conductive tin sulfide thin films for environmentally friendly solar cells

N-type conductive tin sulfide thin films for environmentally friendly solar cells
The world's first n-type conductive SnS thin film without containing toxic elements. Credit: Issei Suzuki et al.

Tin sulfide (SnS) is an abundant, safe, and environmentally friendly solar cell material. This inexpensive material is forecast to be used in next-generation solar cell panels.

A research group led by Issei Suzuki and Sakiko Kawanishi, assistant professors at Tohoku University's Institute of Multidisciplinary Research for Advanced Materials, has fabricated conductive SnS thin films by impurity doping for the first time.

Conventional SnS thin films are usually conductive. Thus, SnS thin-film solar cells have been fabricated using a pn heterojunction with p-type SnS thin film and other thin films, such as CdS. However, the conversion efficiency of such heterojunction devices has stagnated at approximately 5%, rendering their use impractical.

The SnS thin-film solar cells employing a pn homojunction, which uses SnS thin films for both p-type and n-type layers, is expected to exhibit higher conversion efficiency. Yet, n-type conducive SnS thin films without toxic elements have never been achieved before.

Using chlorine-doping and a sulfur plasma supply, the research group reduced the lattice defects inhibiting the n-type conversion of SnS, realizing the world's first n-type SnS without toxic elements.

N-type conductive tin sulfide thin films for environmentally friendly solar cells
A schematic illustration of the new technique used to fabricate n-type SnS thin films. The n-type conductive SnS thin films were achieved by fabricating thin films of chlorine(Cl)-doped SnS with a supply of sulfur plasma. Credit: Issei Suzuki et al.

"Our realization paves the way for practical pn homojunction SnS thin-film solar cells," said Suzuki.

The results of the research were published in Physical Review Materials on December 9, 2021.


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More information: Issei Suzuki et al, n -type electrical conduction in SnS thin films, Physical Review Materials (2021). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevMaterials.5.125405
Provided by Tohoku University
Citation: N-type conductive tin sulfide thin films for environmentally friendly solar cells (2021, December 13) retrieved 28 May 2022 from https://phys.org/news/2021-12-n-type-tin-sulfide-thin-environmentally.html
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