Improvement in performance of CZTSSe solar cell by using cadmium free buffer layers

Sudheendra Prabhu, Sushil Kumar Pandey, Subhananda Chakrabarti

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Cadmium Sulphide(CdS) has been the most preferred n-type buffer layer and Indium Tin Oxide(ITO) is the popular window layer in kesterite solar cells. Cadmium being toxic and Indium being a rare earth element, continuous efforts are being made to replace these materials from kesterite solar cells structure. In this work, ZnS, ZnSe, and Zn0.8Sn0.2O are considered as possible alternatives for CdS. Similarly, Aluminium doped Zinc Oxide(AZO) is considered as an alternative for ITO. Firstly, a cell model with CdS and ITO (Mo/CZTSSe/CdS/ZnO/ITO) is developed using SCAPS-1D software. To optimise the performance parameters namely open-circuit voltage(Voc), short-circuit current density(Jsc), fill factor(FF), and the power conversion efficiency (PCE) for irradiation under normal working conditions, thickness and the composition ratio of the absorber layer(CZTSSe) are evaluated through numerical simulations. PCE of 14.51% is achieved for a 40% of Sulphur content and 2 um thickness of Cu2ZnSn(SxSe1-x)4 when CdS is used as the buffer layer. For the same structure, replacing ITO with AZO results in a PCE of 14.62%. Use of Cadmium-free buffer layers ZnS, ZnSe, and Zn0.82Sn0.18O with ITO as window layer result in PCE of 13.98%, 14.28%, and 14.53%, respectively. For the Cadmium-free buffer layers, an improvement in PCE is achieved when ITO is replaced by AZO, with the highest being 14.62% for Zn0.82Sn0.18O. This can be attributed to the smaller conduction band offset, which reduces the recombination of photogenerated carriers and improves the carrier transport in the solar cell. The above results indicate that the Zn0.8Sn0.2O and AZO can be potential candidates for the buffer layer and window layer, respectively, for high-performance and cheap kesterite solar cells.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationActive Photonic Platforms XIII
EditorsGanapathi S. Subramania, Stavroula Foteinopoulou
ISBN (Electronic)9781510644304
Publication statusPublished - 2021
EventActive Photonic Platforms XIII 2021 - San Diego, United States
Duration: 01-08-202105-08-2021

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


ConferenceActive Photonic Platforms XIII 2021
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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