Tuning iron pyrite thin film microstructure by sulfurization of columnar iron precursors

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DOIResolve DOI: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.solmat.2013.06.028
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TypeArticle
Journal titleSolar Energy Materials and Solar Cells
ISSN0927-0248
Volume117
Pages306314; # of pages: 9
SubjectCarrier recombination; Fabrication routes; Glancing Angle Deposition; Granular microstructure; Optical characterization; Photovoltaic devices; Photovoltaic power; Sulfurization; Cracks; Deposition; Electrooptical materials; Failure (mechanical); Grain boundaries; Microstructure; Photovoltaic cells; Pyrites; Semiconductor materials; Thin films; Void fraction; Iron
AbstractIron pyrite is a promising material for photovoltaic power production due to low material extraction and processing costs and high optical absorption. Reliable production of photovoltaic grade iron pyrite thin films has, however, been challenging. One potential fabrication route is the direct conversion of iron-to-iron pyrite by sulfur annealing (sulfurization). Bulk iron thin films are used typically but they can suffer from cracking or delamination. Herein we report the sulfurization of porous, columnar Fe films deposited with Glancing Angle Deposition (GLAD), which allows us to control the inter-column spacing (void-fraction) of the precursor film. We show that the morphology and microstructure of the iron pyrite films are strongly affected by the void-fraction. By precisely tuning the void-fraction of the precursor film at 82 oblique angle incidence deposition we can produce iron pyrite films with increased crystallite sizes >100 nm with a uniform, crack-free, facetted granular microstructure. Large crystallites may reduce carrier recombination at grain boundaries, which is attractive for photovoltaic devices. Further increasing the void-fraction produces a columnar iron pyrite structure. We also report composition, electrical and optical characterization including a 27 ps lifetime of photocarriers measured with ultrafast optical-pump/THz-probe. Structured, porous precursors offer an alternate route to control microstructure and film stress during fabrication of iron pyrite thin films. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.
Publication date
LanguageEnglish
AffiliationNational Research Council Canada (NRC-CNRC); Security and Disruptive Technologies
Peer reviewedYes
NPARC number21271870
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Record identifier3fa9f2aa-9581-467f-a7a8-5e6c00785e00
Record created2014-04-24
Record modified2016-05-09
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