Cu2ZnSnS4 thin film solar cells from electroplated precursors: Novel low-cost perspective

A. Ennaoui, M. Lux-Steiner, A. Weber, D. Abou-Ras, I. Kötschau, H. W. Schock, R. Schurr, A. Hölzing, S. Jost, R. Hock, T. Voß, J. Schulze, A. Kirbs

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Thin-film solar cells based on Cu2ZnSnS4 (CZTS) absorbers were fabricated successfully by solid-state reaction in H2S atmosphere of electrodeposited Cu-Zn-Sn precursors. These ternary alloys were deposited in one step from a cyanide-free alkaline electrolyte containing Cu(II), Zn(II) and Sn(IV) metal salts on Mo-coated glass substrates. The solar cell was completed by a chemical bath-deposited CdS buffer layer and a sputtered i-ZnO/ZnO:Al bilayer. The best solar cell performance was obtained with Cu-poor samples. A total area (0.5 cm2) efficiency of 3.4% is achieved (Voc = 563 mV, jsc = 14.8 mA/cm2, FF = 41%) with a maximum external quantum efficiency (EQE) of 80%. The estimated band-gap energy from the external quantum efficiency (EQE) measurements is about 1.54 eV. Electron backscatter-diffraction maps of cross-section samples revealed CZTS grain sizes of up to 10 μm. Elemental distribution maps of the CZTS absorber show Zn-rich precipitates, probably ZnS, and a Zn-poor region, presumably Cu2SnS3, close to the interface Mo/CZTS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2511-2514
Number of pages4
JournalThin Solid Films
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2 Feb 2009
Externally publishedYes



  • Cu-poor
  • CuZnSnS
  • Electroplating
  • Precursor sulfurisation
  • Solar-cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Materials Chemistry
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Surfaces and Interfaces

Cite this

Ennaoui, A., Lux-Steiner, M., Weber, A., Abou-Ras, D., Kötschau, I., Schock, H. W., Schurr, R., Hölzing, A., Jost, S., Hock, R., Voß, T., Schulze, J., & Kirbs, A. (2009). Cu2ZnSnS4 thin film solar cells from electroplated precursors: Novel low-cost perspective. Thin Solid Films, 517(7), 2511-2514.