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      Growth and Characterization of Cu 2Zn 1−xFe xSnS 4 Thin Films for Photovoltaic Applications

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          Abstract

          Photovoltaics is a promising technology to produce sustainable energy, thanks to the high amount of energy emitted by the sun. One way of having solar cells with low production costs is to apply thin-film technology and with earth-abundant raw materials. A keen interest is arising in kesterite compounds, which are chalcogenides composed of abundant and non-toxic elements. They have already achieved excellent performance at the laboratory level. Here, we report the synthesis and characterization of mixed chalcogenides based on copper, zinc, iron, and tin. Solutions have been studied with different zinc and iron ratios. The distortion of the elementary cell of kesterite increases with the addition of iron until a phase transition to stannite occurs. The process of synthesis and deposition proposed herein is cheap and straightforward, based on the sol-gel technique. These thin films are particularly attractive for use in cheap and easily processable solar cells. The synthesized layers have been characterized by X-ray diffraction, UV-Vis absorption, and Raman, X-ray photoelectron, and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy measurements.

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          Most cited references 43

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          Detailed Balance Limit of Efficiency of p-n Junction Solar Cells

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            X-ray photoelectron spectroscopic studies of iron oxides

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              Energy implications of future stabilization of atmospheric CO2 content

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Materials (Basel)
                Materials (Basel)
                materials
                Materials
                MDPI
                1996-1944
                24 March 2020
                March 2020
                : 13
                : 6
                Affiliations
                [1 ]School of Engineering and Materials Science, Queen Mary University of London, 327 Mile End Road, London E1 4NS, UK; v.trifiletti@ 123456qmul.ac.uk (V.T.); s.luong@ 123456qmul.ac.uk (S.L.); o.fenwick@ 123456qmul.ac.uk (O.F.)
                [2 ]Department of Materials Science and Solar Energy Research Center (MIB-SOLAR), University of Milano-Bicocca, Via Cozzi 55, I-20125 Milano, Italy; giorgio.tseberlidis@ 123456unimib.it (G.T.); m.colombo224@ 123456campus.unimib.it (M.C.); a.spinardi@ 123456campus.unimib.it (A.S.)
                [3 ]Department of Materials and Environmental Technology, Tallinn University of Technology, Ehitajate Tee 5, 19086 Tallinn, Estonia; mati.danilson@ 123456taltech.ee (M.D.); maarja.grossberg@ 123456taltech.ee (M.G.)
                Author notes
                Article
                materials-13-01471
                10.3390/ma13061471
                7143291
                32213828
                © 2020 by the authors.

                Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

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