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Reactive DC Sputtered TiO 2 Electron Transport Layers for Cadmium‐Free Sb 2 Se 3 Solar Cells

Don, Christopher H.; Shalvey, Thomas P.; Sindi, Daniya A.; Lewis, Bradley; Swallow, Jack E. N.; Bowen, Leon; Fernandes, Daniel F.; Kubart, Tomas; Biswas, Deepnarayan; Thakur, Pardeep K.; Lee, Tien‐Lin; Major, Jonathan D.

Reactive DC Sputtered TiO 2 Electron Transport Layers for Cadmium‐Free Sb 2 Se 3 Solar Cells Thumbnail


Christopher H. Don

Thomas P. Shalvey

Daniya A. Sindi

Bradley Lewis

Jack E. N. Swallow

Leon Bowen
Senior Manager (Electron Microscopy)

Daniel F. Fernandes

Tomas Kubart

Deepnarayan Biswas

Pardeep K. Thakur

Tien‐Lin Lee

Jonathan D. Major


The evolution of Sb2Se3 heterojunction devices away from CdS electron transport layers (ETL) to wide bandgap metal oxide alternatives is a critical target in the development of this emerging photovoltaic material. Metal oxide ETL/Sb2Se3 device performance has historically been limited by relatively low fill factors, despite offering clear advantages with regards to photocurrent collection. In this study, TiO2 ETLs are fabricated via direct current reactive sputtering and tested in complete Sb2Se3 devices. A strong correlation between TiO2 ETL processing conditions and the Sb2Se3 solar cell device response under forward bias conditions is observed and optimized. Numerical device models support experimental evidence of a spike‐like conduction band offset, which can be mediated, provided a sufficiently high conductivity and low interfacial defect density can be achieved in the TiO2 ETL. Ultimately, a SnO2:F/TiO2/Sb2Se3/P3HT/Au device with the reactively sputtered TiO2 ETL delivers an 8.12% power conversion efficiency (η), the highest TiO2/Sb2Se3 device reported to‐date. This is achieved by a substantial reduction in series resistance, driven by improved crystallinity of the reactively sputtered anatase‐TiO2 ETL, whilst maintaining almost maximum current collection for this device architecture.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 1, 2024
Online Publication Date Jun 11, 2024
Publication Date Jun 11, 2024
Deposit Date Jun 18, 2024
Publicly Available Date Jun 18, 2024
Journal Advanced Energy Materials
Print ISSN 1614-6832
Publisher Wiley-VCH Verlag
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Article Number 2401077
Keywords sputtering, antimony, selenide, Sb2Se3, photovoltaics, TiO2, solar
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Additional Information Estimated acceptance date


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Copyright Statement
This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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