An IBM-led research teams says that a combination of copper, zinc, tin, and selenium (CZTS) could meet current thin-film efficiencies with more abundant materials.
IBM says it has made technical progress on a solar technology that researchers hope will yield efficient thin-film solar cells made from abundant materials.
IBM photovoltaic scientists Teodor Todorov and David Mitzi on Friday detailed the findings of a paper that showed the highest efficiency to date for solar cells made from a combination of copper, zinc, tin, and selenium (CZTS). Published in Advanced Energy Materials, the technical paper described a CZTS solar cell able to convert 11.1 percent of solar energy to electricity.
That level of efficiency is a significant jump from the 10.1 percent efficiency Mitzi and colleagues showed last year. (See, Efficiency Solar Cells from Cheaper Materials). The paper also argues that CZTS solar cells could achieve efficiencies high enough to make them commercially viable.