Nano Research

Article Title

Piezo-phototronic and pyro-phototronic effects to enhance Cu(In, Ga)Se2 thin film solar cells


CIGS solar cell, pyro-phototronic effect, piezo-phototronic effect, piezopotential, pyropotential


ABSTRACT Cu(In, Ga)Se2 (CIGS)-based materials have gained remarkable attention for thin-film photovoltaic applications due to their high absorption coefficient, tunable bandgap, compositional tolerance, outstanding stabilities, and high efficiency. A small increase in the efficiency of CIGS solar cells has huge economic impact and practical importance. As such, we fabricated a flexible CIGS solar cell on a mica substrate and demonstrated the enhanced device performance through the piezo- and pyro-phototronic effects based on a ZnO thin film. The device showed enhanced energy conversion efficiency from 13.48% to 14.23% by decreasing the temperature from 31 to 2 °C at a rate of ~ 0.6 °C·s−1 via the pyro-phototronic effect, and further enhanced from 14.23% to 14.37% via the piezo-phototronic effect by further applying a static compressive strain. A pyro-electric nanogenerator effect was also found to promote the performance of the CIGS solar cell at the beginning of the cooling process. The manipulated energy band of the CIGS/CdS/ZnO heterojunction under the influence of the inner pyroelectric and piezoelectric potentials is believed to contribute to these phenomena. Applying the piezo- and pyro-phototronic effects simultaneously offers a new opportunity for enhancing the output performance of commercial thin film solar cells.

Graphical Abstract


Tsinghua University Press