Recent Advances in Solution-Processed Hybrid Nanostructured Tin Monosulfide Solar Cells
Dong Ding  a, Saif Haque a
a Department of Chemistry, Imperial College London, South Kensington Campus London, London, United Kingdom
Asia-Pacific International Conference on Perovskite, Organic Photovoltaics and Optoelectronics
Proceedings of International Conference Asia-Pacific Hybrid and Organic Photovoltaics (AP-HOPV17)
Yokohama-shi, Japan, 2017 February 2nd - 4th
Organizers: Tsutomu Miyasaka and Iván Mora-Seró
Oral, Dong Ding , presentation 065
Publication date: 7th November 2016

Tin mono-sulphide (SnS) has emerged as a promising photovoltaic material because of the earth-abundance, non-toxicity and its optical properties. SnS exhibits a high absorption coefficient (>104cm-1) and an ideal band gap of 1.3 eV (ca. 950 nm), which make it an excellent light absorber for photovoltaic applications. To date, the highest power conversion efficiency (PCE) of SnS-based solar cells is up to 4.6%1 although the theoretical PCE is 32%; and SnS layers were obtained by atomic layer deposition. There are very few attempts using fast and cost-efficient methods; therefore, solution-processed fabrication methods for SnS thin films as well as the conjugated organic semiconductors to prepare hybrid solar cells are particularly interesting.


In this work, we present the recent progress on the optimisation of a solution-processed fabrication method with the device architecture: glass/ITO/planar-TiO2/SnS/P3HT/MoO3/Ag. The nanostructured SnS is prepared by spin coating of a precursor solution containing tin (II) chloride and thioacetamide, followed by thermal annealing. The SnS nanoplates can be infiltrated with a polymer layer in order to get a nanostructured hybrid heterojunction. Before optimisation, this device achieved a power conversion efficiency of 1.2%.2 Here we present the recent achievement of the above architecture by using mesoporous cell structure, and modifying the SnS precursor solution. X-ray diffraction (XRD) shows that this optimised cell eliminates the secondary phase such as SnS2 and Sn2S3. Moreover, these optimised solar cells exhibit much better PCEs and excellent short-circuit current above 23 mA/cm2. 


An exhaustive transient absorption spectroscopy (TAS) study on this mesoporous structure has revealed that the amount of long-lived charges generated is more than twice of the planar structure. Furthermore, we have investigated the impact of SnS precursor solution composition on the SnS nanoplates growth, thin film quality and ultimately the cell performance. Further investigations about overcoming the sulfur deficiency and improving the open-circuit voltage are ongoing in our laboratory.


1. Sinsermsuksakul, P.; Sun, L.; Lee, S. W.; Park, H. H.; Kim, S. B.; Yang, C.; Gordon, R. G. Adv. Energy Mater. 2014, 1400496.

2. T. Rath, L. Gury, I. Sánchez-Molina, L. Martínez and S. A. Haque, Chem. Commun., 2015, 51, 10198–10201. 

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