Band alignment in SnS thin-film solar cells: Possible origin of the low conversion efficiency

Lee A. Burton, Aron Walsh

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123 Citations (Scopus)


Tin sulfide is an attractive absorber material for low-cost thin-film solar cells. Despite the ideal physical properties of bulk SnS, the photovoltaic conversion efficiencies achieved in devices to date have been no greater than 2. Assessment of the valence band energy of the stable orthorhombic phase of SnS reveals a low ionisation potential (4.7 eV) in comparison to typical absorber materials (CdTe, CuInSe2, and Cu2ZnSnS4). A band mis-alignment is therefore predicted with commonly used back contact and buffer layers. Alternative configurations are proposed that should improve device performance.

Original languageEnglish
Article number132111
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Apr 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Gilles Dennler for useful discussions and acknowledge membership of the UK's HPC Materials Chemistry Consortium, which was funded by EPSRC grant EP/F067496. A.W. acknowledges support from the Royal Society for a University Research Fellowship, and L.A.B was funded by EPSRC (Grant No. EP/G03768X/1).

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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