University researchers have developed a new process for producing iron pyrite thin films from “molecular inks”; i.e. simple solutions that can be spin coated printed sprayed roll coated or otherwise deposited onto a substrate potentially enabling cheap deposition of device-quality pyrite films over large areas. The composition of the molecular ink and the annealing step(s) used to convert the molecular species to pyrite are tuned to produce films of desired morphology (film thickness grain size orientation and interconnectedness) composition (stoichiometry impurity levels doping) and optoelectronic characteristics (carrier density mobility lifetime Fermi level etc.). Applications: Large-scale solar conversion; e.g. solar cells and solar fuels production.
1) Simple and rapid deposition over large areas 2) Excellent control of film composition 3) Superior film uniformity 4) Simple doping and alloying 5) Low toxicity 6) Fairly low temperature