DGIST-Developed CZTSSe Thin Film Solar Cell has the Confirmed Highest Efficiency in the World

CZTSSe Thin Film Solar Cell
  • Convergence Research Center for Solar Energy at DGIST achieved the confirmed highest single-junction cell efficiency in the world
  • Expects to be commercialized by using low cost, ecofriendly materials

DGIST announced the achievement in the confirmed highest efficiency of CZTSSe thin film solar cell1 photoconversion2 in the world. This research is expected to lead solar power technology in the future and contribute greatly to the development of next generation thin film solar cell industry. 

DGIST Convergence Research Center for Solar Energy (Director Dae-Hwan Kim) announced on Wednesday, May 22nd that its thin film solar cell achieved 11.3% of photoconversion efficiency with area above 1cm2, an official minimum required cell area for confirmed single-junction cell, which is higher than the previous record of 10.0% by the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Australia. In addition, the other DGIST’s new result equals the previous record, 12.6% by IBM in the U.S., for a small area CZTSSe cell.

CZTSSe thin film solar cell uses CZTSSe compound consisting of Cu, Zn, Sn, Se, and S atoms as a photo-absorption layer and uses low cost, ecofriendly elements unlike CIGS thin film solar cell that uses expensive In and Ga, Perovskite3 that uses toxic lead, and CdTe thin film solar cell that uses toxic cadmium. 

Director Dae-Hwan Kim at the DGIST Convergence Research Center for Solar Energy said “The technologies developed by our center have been recognized internationally by achieving 2 official records for CZTSSe thin film solar cells in the future technology for low-price solar cell. By continuously conducting research, we will lead the future solar power technology and further contribute to the development of thin film solar cell industry.”

The two official records were included on version 53 of ‘Solar Cell Efficiency Tables’ which are regularly published by ‘Progress in Photovoltaics,’ a renowned solar cell international journal.

1  CZTSSe thin film solar cell: A second-generation solar cell technology that uses CZTSSe compound consisting of Copper (Cu), Zinc (Zn), Tin (Sn), Selenium (Se), and Sulfur (S) elements as a photo-absorption layer. This one is more advantageous for commercialization because it uses lower-cost compounds.
2  Photoconversion: Conversion of light energy into electric energy.
3  Perovskite: A calcium titanium oxide mineral in crystal-structure with excellent electric-conductivity that is composed of methyl ammonium, formamidinium, and organic as well as inorganic matters. Like regular solar cells, it generates electrons and electricity when it receives light.