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Low cost solar cells: New European record in efficiency

March 12, 2011
Université du Luxembourg
Scientists have developed an improved preparation process for kesterite solar cells, which resulted in a new European record efficiency of 6.1 percent.

Solar cells.
Credit: Image courtesy of Université du Luxembourg

Kesterites combine the low cost of thin film solar cell technologies with extremely low raw material cost. Their main component consists of copper, zinc, tin, and sulfur or selenium, all abundant and low cost elements. Several labs have reported that the loss of tin during preparation limits the ability to control deposition processes. The Laboratory for Photovoltaics has now developed a preparation process that allows controlling the tin loss and has in the first attempt led to record efficiency.

Details of the preparation process have been published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

"With this first success we are now able to understand the further limitations of these solar cells. This will help us to improve the efficiency further" says Susanne Siebentritt, head of the Laboratory for Photovoltaics. This laboratory was founded in Luxembourg in April 2007 within the framework of the TDK Europe professorship, a public-private partnership funded by TDK Corporation and the University of Luxembourg.

Thin film solar cells are currently significantly increasing their market share, because of their low production cost. These are mostly based on considerably lower material and energy consumption compared to the conventional wafer technologies.

The Laboratory for Photovoltaics of the University of Luxembourg is a group of researchers developing new materials and processes for solar cells. The laboratory focuses also on furthering the physical understanding of the materials and interfaces involved in these solar cells.

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Materials provided by Université du Luxembourg. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

Journal Reference:

  1. Alex Redinger, Dominik M. Berg, Phillip J. Dale, Susanne Siebentritt. The Consequences of Kesterite Equilibria for Efficient Solar Cells. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2011; 133 (10): 3320 DOI: 10.1021/ja111713g

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Université du Luxembourg. "Low cost solar cells: New European record in efficiency." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 March 2011. <>.
Université du Luxembourg. (2011, March 12). Low cost solar cells: New European record in efficiency. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 27, 2017 from
Université du Luxembourg. "Low cost solar cells: New European record in efficiency." ScienceDaily. (accessed April 27, 2017).