Skip to main content


Novel nanocrystal ink based method for Copperzinctin sulfide (CZTS) based Solar Cells


NSF Solar Economy IGERT researchers have successfully produced a copperzinctin sulfide (CZTS) based thin film solar cell with total area power conversion efficiency of 7.2%. This is the second highest efficiency reported for this class of material composed of earth abundant elements. The researchers successfully synthesized ink of CZTS nanocrystals which was then used to create micron thick film on molebdenum coated soda lime glass. The film was then selenized and the solar cell device was completed. The results are exciting as they demonstrate the potential of the new nanocrystal ink based route as a cost-friendly alternative to the current thin film solar cell technologies. The IGERT team included Professors Rakesh Agrawal (PI and Director of SEIGERT), Hugh Hillhouse, Eric Stach with Bryce Walker. The research was published
Fabrication of 7.2% Efficient CZTSSe Solar Cells using CZTS Nanocrystals, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 132, 17384 (2010).

Address Goals

The team was composed of researchers from Chemical Engineering and the Materials Science and Engineering departments. This cross interdisciplinary collaboration was key to the success of synthesizing nanocrystals with proper crystal structure and the final solar cell device. The interdisciplinary team worked in the lab to create the desired result. Fundamental study is in progress to further characterize nanocrystals as well as film for their electronic properties. The understanding of the relationship between the CZTS material structure and its electronic properties will lead to successful solar cells from earth abundant materials. The research findings continue to advance the frontiers of knowledge for thin-film solar cells made from nanocrystals of semiconducting materials. The training of SEIGERT trainees contribute to the cultivation of a world-class engineering workforce.