Oxide-Based Solar Cell: Impact of Layer Thicknesses on the Device Performance

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19 Citations (Scopus)


A ZnO/Cu2O-based combinatorial heterojunction device library was successfully fabricated by a simple spray pyrolysis technique using ITO-coated glass as the substrate. The combinatorial approach was introduced to analyze the impact of the ZnO and Cu2O layer thicknesses on the performance of the solar cells. The thickness of the ZnO layer was varied from ∼50 to 320 nm, and the Cu2O layer was deposited orthogonal to the ZnO thickness gradient. In the case of Cu2O, the thickness varied from ∼200 to 800 nm. The photovoltaic performance of the cells is strongly dependent on the absorber layer thickness for a particular window layer thickness and reaches a maximum short-circuit current density of 3.9 mA/cm2 when the absorber layer thickness just crosses ∼700 nm. Reducing the thicknesses of the active layers leads to a sharp decrease in the device performance. It is shown that the entire built-in bias of the heterojunction is created in the absorber layer due to low carrier density. The poor performance of the devices having lower thicknesses is attributed to different interfacial phenomena such as optical losses due to the thin Cu2O layer, back-contact recombination of the carriers due to the low layer thickness because a minimum heterojunction thickness is required for the formation of the full built-in bias that slows down the recombination of the carriers, and other factors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)113-120
Number of pages8
JournalACS Combinatorial Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2017


  • combinatorial
  • interfacial phenomena
  • layer thickness
  • spray pyrolysis
  • ZnO/CuO heterojunction
  • Copper/chemistry
  • Electric Power Supplies
  • Electrodes
  • Electroplating
  • Glass/chemistry
  • Solar Energy
  • Tin Compounds/chemistry
  • Zinc Oxide/chemistry


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