Physical routes for the synthesis of kesterite: Topical Review

T. Ratz, G. Brammertz, R. Caballero, M. León, Stela Canulescu, J. Schou, L. Gütay, D. Pareek, T. Taskesen, D.-H Kim, J.-K Kang, C. Malerba, A. Redinger, E. Saucedo, B. Shin, H. Tampo, K. Timmo, N. D. Nguyen, B. Vermang

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This paper provides an overview of the physical vapor technologies used to synthesize Cu2ZnSn(S,Se)4 thin films as absorber layers for photovoltaic applications. Through the years, CZT(S,Se) thin films have been fabricated using sequential stacking or co-sputtering of precursors as well as using sequential or co-evaporation of elemental sources, leading to high-efficient solar cells. In addition, pulsed laser deposition of composite targets and monograin growth by the molten salt method were developed as alternative methods for kesterite layers deposition. This review presents the growing increase of the kesterite-based solar cell efficiencies achieved over the recent years. A historical description of the main issues limiting this efficiency and of the experimental pathways designed to prevent or limit these issues is provided and discussed as well. A final section is dedicated to the description of promising process steps aiming at further improvements of solar cell efficiency, such as alkali doping and bandgap grading.
Original languageEnglish
Article number042003
JournalJournal of Physics: Energy
Issue number4
Number of pages23
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Kesterite
  • Earth-abundant materials
  • Absorber layer
  • Thin film solar cell
  • Physical vapor deposition


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