Semitransparent Selenium Solar Cells as a Top Cell for Tandem Photovoltaics

Tomas H. Youngman, Rasmus Nielsen, Andrea Crovetto, Brian Seger, Ole Hansen, Ib Chorkendorff, Peter C. K. Vesborg*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Trigonal selenium (Se) is an elemental, direct-bandgap (1.95 eV) semiconductor with a low processing temperature, which could be a suitable top absorber for tandem solar cell applications. For incorporation in tandem architectures, both sides of the Se cell should be semitransparent. However, all reported Se solar cells have metallic back contacts. To demonstrate the potential feasibility of Se as a wide-bandgap absorber for tandems, herein, bifacial single-junction selenium solar cells with device areas above 0.4 cm2 are reported. When illuminating through the n-type contact, the bifacial cell power conversion efficiency (PCE) is 5.2%, similar to a standard monofacial cell. The efficiency is lower (2.7%) when illuminating through the p-type contact, which is attributed to low carrier diffusion lengths and lifetimes in selenium. This suggests the necessity to invert the typical single-junction device structure when incorporating it into a tandem device.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2100111
JournalSolar RRL
Issue number7
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Villum Foundation V‐SUSTAIN grant (9455) to the Villum Center for the Science of Sustainable Fuels and Chemicals.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Wiley-VCH GmbH


  • Bifacial solar cells
  • Photovoltaic devices
  • Selenium
  • Solar cells
  • Tandem photovoltaics


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