Date of Award

Spring 2014

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Chemical Engineering

First Advisor

Rakesh Agrawal

Committee Member 1

Bryan Boudouis

Committee Member 2

Yue Wu


As solar cell absorber materials, alloys of CuIn(S,Se)2 and Zn(S,Se) provide an opportunity to reduce the usage of indium along with the ability to tune the band gap. Here we report successful synthesis of alloyed (CuInS2 )0.5(ZnS)0.5 nanocrystals by a method that solely uses oleylamine as the liquid medium for synthesis. The reactive sintering of a thin film of these nanocrystals via selenization at 500 °C results in a uniform composition alloy (CuIn(S,Se)2 )0.5 (Zn(S,Se)) 0.5 layer with micron size grains. Due to the large amount of zinc in the film, the sintered grains exhibit the zinc blende structure instead of the usual chalcopyrite structure of CuIn(S,Se)2 films. The use of the selenide films as a p-type absorber layer has yielded solar cells with total area power conversion efficiencies as high as 6.7% (7.4% based on active area). These preliminary results are encouraging and indicate that with further optimization this class of materials has promise as the absorber layer in solar cells.