Patent Number: 8,501,526

Title: Synthesizing photovoltaic thin films of high quality copper-zinc-tin alloy with at least one chalcogen species

Abstract: A method for synthesizing a thin film of copper, zinc, tin, and a chalcogen species ("CZTCh" or "CZTSS") with well-controlled properties. The method includes depositing a thin film of precursor materials, e.g., approximately stoichiometric amounts of copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), tin (Sn), and a chalcogen species (Ch). The method then involves re-crystallizing and grain growth at higher temperatures, e.g., between about 725 and 925 degrees K, and annealing the precursor film at relatively lower temperatures, e.g., between 600 and 650 degrees K. The processing of the precursor film takes place in the presence of a quasi-equilibrium vapor, e.g., Sn and chalcogen species. The quasi-equilibrium vapor is used to maintain the precursor film in a quasi-equilibrium condition to reduce and even prevent decomposition of the CZTCh and is provided at a rate to balance desorption fluxes of Sn and chalcogens.

Inventors: Teeter; Glenn (Lakewood, CO), Du; Hui (Golden, CO), Young; Matthew (Lakewood, CO)

Assignee: Alliance for Sustainable Energy, LLC

International Classification: H01L 21/00 (20060101)

Expiration Date: 2021-08-06 0:00:00