Enhancing the photovoltaic properties of SnS-Based solar cells by crystallographic orientation engineering

Ho, T-T, Jokar E, Quadir S, Chen R-S, Liu F-C, Cheng-YingChen, Chen K-H, Chen L-C.  2022.  Enhancing the photovoltaic properties of SnS-Based solar cells by crystallographic orientation engineering, 2022. Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells. 236:111499.


Tin monosulfide (SnS) is a promising light-harvesting material for solar cell applications, owing to its potential for large-scale production, cost-effectiveness, eco-friendly source materials, and long-term stability. However, SnS crystallizes in an orthorhombic structure, which results in a highly anisotropic charge transport behavior. Tailoring the crystallographic orientation of the SnS absorber layer plays a critical role in the enhancement of the transfer of charge carriers and the power conversion efficiency (PCE). By controlling the substrate tilting angle and temperature ramp rate in vapor transport deposition, the crystal growth orientation was tuned to a preferred direction which significantly suppressed the unfavorable (040) crystallographic plane. Through the combination of these two approaches, the PCE could be increased from 0.11% to 2%. The effect of the tilting angle was numerically simulated to investigate its role in controlling the film uniformity and directing the film growth. In addition, the correlation between the texture coefficient of the (040) plane and the charge transport properties was determined by a combination of analytical methods such as device performance studies, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, along with transient photovoltage, space-charge-limited current, and dark current measurements. These techniques were blended together to prove that the marked improvement in PCE can be ascribed to a reduced charge recombination (in both SnS bulk and interfaces) and an enhanced hole mobility.