News Article

A Promising Boost To Kesterite Solar Cells


Indian researchers report power conversion efficiency of 25 percent from novel multi quantum well approach

As the world moves towards renewable energy, the hunt is on for more efficient, affordable, non-toxic, flexible successors to traditional silicon solar cells.

Kesterite is a promising candidate as it can be made on a large scale using a solution-based, high-throughput roll-to-roll process. But there are challenges to overcome in terms of efficiency.

Now researchers from two leading Indian universities - SRM University and IIITDM, Kancheepuram - have came up with an innovative idea that involves introducing the quantisation effect of nanotechnology into kesterite solar cells.

Kesterite copper-zinc-tin-sulphide (CZTS) crystal has been extensively studied as an absorber material in solar cells to achieve tera-watt power generation. Similar to chalcopyrite-type CuInS2 (CIS), kesterite Cu2ZnSnS4 - Cu2ZnSn(S,Se)4 - Cu2ZnSnSe4 are members of the Cu-chalcogenide material family.

Both chalcopyrite and kesterite are effectively substituted derivatives of the Zinc blende crystal structure of ZnS. These structures have sulphur and/or selenium anions and a range of metal cations. Quaternary CZTS with I2-II-IV-VI4 structure can be derived from CIS by replacing In3+ with Zn2+ and Sn4+.

Kesterite CZTS has a direct bandgap of 1.5 eV and a high absorption coefficient (>104) which is close to the ideal for a single-junction solar cell. The bandgap can also be tuned by altering the S/Se ratio between 1.0 eV for pure selenide and 1.5 eV for pure sulphide compounds.

Despite these success stories, kesterite based solar cells could only achieve 13 to 15 percent efficiency in the last five years.

“Kesterite solar cell does have excellent potential to join in mainstream of PV market as well as many challenges to overcome also,” says S. Routray, a solar PV researcher at SRM University.

Routray and colleagues have proposed multiple quantum wells with very thin layers of two types of kesterite material to avoid high recombination rate. “We have to explore more on the material with new technologies,” said K. P. Pradhan, assistant professor, IIITDM, Kancheepuram.

Using this approach, the team reports a possible power conversion efficiency of 25 percent from MQW Kesterite solar cells in a recent issue of Applied Physics Letters.

The team is now looking forward to fabricating the cell as well as bring new concepts of technology to boost the efficiency of the kesterite solar cell and make it fit for commercial applications in future.

'Towards Quantum Efficiency Enhancement of Kesterite Nanostructured Absorber: A Prospective of Carrier Quantization Effect' by S. Sravani, S. Routray, K. P. Pradhan;" Applied Physics Letter, vol.117, no. 13, Sep, 2020.

US Solar Fund To Acquire Up To 50% Of 200MWDC Mount Signal 2
SUNfarming Reaches Financial Close On Project Financing For 26 MWp PV Portfolio In Poland
Winch Energy Closes Largest Mini Grid Financing Portfolio To Date
BayWa R.e. And HeidelbergCement Sign First Solar Corporate PPA In Polish History
SolarArise Commissions 75 MW Solar Plant In Uttar Pradesh
Sonnedix Acquires 150MW Utility Scale Project Located In Central Chile
Oakapple Renewable Energy Appoint Stuart Gentry To Head Business Development
The Smarter E South America Postponed To October 18-20, 2021
International Solar Alliance Special Assembly Elects Dr Ajay Mathur As New Director General
Leclanché Selected By ENERGODATA To Provide Battery Storage
Sonnedix Brings Chile Closer To Meet Its Renewable Power Targets
Going Green In Lancashire – Hundreds Of Houses Installed With Solar Panels In Ground-breaking Project
Driving Efficiency Through Flexible Solar Power Solutions
Q CELLS Solar Modules Keeping The Lights On For Dutch Bulb Grower
Analysis Of UK Commercial Roof Space Shows Solar PV Film Can Achieve Net Zero Without Greenfield Sites
VivoPower International PLC Announces Completion Of Electrical Works For 39 MWdc Molong Solar Farm
Luxcara And GE Renewable To Deliver 753 MW To Sweden With Single Onshore Wind Farm
Greencoat Renewables Announces First Transaction In Nordic Market
Solar Energy For Water Treatment: IBC SOLAR Helps Water Authority Become More Sustainable
Ib Vogt Achieves Financial Close And Start Of Construction Of 116 MWp Solar PV Project In Malaysia
SUNfarming Secures EUR 10 Million In Fresh Money For Poland
SunBrush Mobil And Infinity Establish Service Base At Benban, Africa's Largest Solar Park
Sonnedix Adds 40 MW Of Capacity To Its Portfolio In Chile
AEG Power Solutions Equips The Microgrid Laboratory Emulator Of Paderborn University

Search the news archive

To close this popup you can press escape or click the close icon.
Register - Step 1

You may choose to subscribe to the Solar + Power Magazine, the Solar + Power Newsletter, or both. You may also request additional information if required, before submitting your application.

Please subscribe me to:


You chose the industry type of "Other"

Please enter the industry that you work in:
Please enter the industry that you work in:
{taasPodcastNotification} Array
Live Event