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Content archived on 2024-04-19

New photovoltaic materials from systematic mineralogy(pv-mineralogy)


Chalcogenide compound semiconductors (e.g. CuInSe2, CdTe,...) are known to be the actual candidates for thin film solar cells. These compounds have been found more or less by chance following the structural relationships from the basic Sistructure. On the other hand about 500 natural occuring chalcogenide compounds - the so called sulfide ore minerals - have been collected and described by mineralogists, giving a source of possible further (better?) candidates. It is a logical consequence bringing together specialists from photovoltaic research and mineralogists working on the field of sulfide ore minerals to screen this "natural reservoir" for photovoltaic applicability.

The general scope of the project is a fast screening of sulfide ore minerals with respect to their photovoltaic properties. These minerals were selected for several reasons: a) already existing chalcogenide semiconductors in photovoltaic applications are members of this group, b) existing mineralogical data for all members of this group, c) known stability of this compounds, and d) no necessity in crystal preparation. The work program includes a mineralogical part and a physico-chemical part. For the mineralogical part the organization of mineral species and their already existing data as well as the standard mineralogical characterization of the samples are intended. These samples are handed over to the physicists and chemists for the characterization of semiconductor properties, including optimized characterization methods like photoacoustic spectroscopy, time resolved microwave
electroreflectance, electrochemical methods and so on.
The goal of the project is to select possible candidates for thin film solar cells from the group of sulfide ore minerals, which can be transferred in subsequent research to a thin film preparation on a laboratory scale for further investigations and to look for better properties than the one of the existing candidates.

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European Renewable Energy Centers Agency - Eurec Agency EEIG
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3001 Heverlee

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Participants (5)