Hodges Thin Film PV Research Group

The fundamental scientific and engineering research in the design and realization of new electronic materials for thin film photovoltaics (PV) on flexible substrates is being investigated. A significant portion of this research effort is devoted to investigating, researching and developing special optical materials for thin film PV. Thin film polycrystalline low cost alternatives to silicon have emerged. Recently, the methylammonium lead tri-iodide CH3NH3PbI3 perovskites and the quaternary semiconductor Cu2ZnSnS4 (CZTS) have attracted a lot of attention as a possible absorber material for thin film solar cells due to their bandgap energy, high optical absorption coefficients and low-cost solution-processing deposition approaches. Perovskite absorber materials are very inexpensive to synthesize and simple to manufacture, making them an extremely commercially viable option. CZTS is a semiconductor material consisting of earth abundant, low cost, low toxicity elements. CZTS is a promising absorber layer material for thin film solar cells providing both an economical and a green alternative to the current thin-film technologies. Our research focuses on the investigation, study and development of efficient and cost effective perovskite and CZTS thin films and solar cells on flexible substrates. This research was initiated by a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant.

Students shown in the photo from left to right: Cheik Sana, Donato Kava, Jose Galindo and Shaimum Shahriar.