Iron Pyrite Thin Films From Molecular Inks

Tech ID: 22008 / UC Case 2011-200-0

Brief Description

A method for synthesizing iron pyrite (FeS2) semiconductor films on solid substrates to serve as the active layer of a solar energy conversion device (e.g. solar cell).

Full Description

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.)

Suggested uses

Large-scale solar conversion; e.g. solar cells and solar fuels production.


Simple and rapid deposition over large areas

Excellent control of film composition

Superior film uniformity

Simple doping and alloying

Low toxicity

Fairly low temperature

Patent Status

Country Type Number Dated Case
United States Of America Issued Patent 9,757,765 09/12/2017 2011-200
United States Of America Issued Patent 9,048,375 06/02/2015 2011-200

State Of Development

University researchers have successfully developed several solution chemistries to make polycrystalline pyrite thin films. Specifically two of these films follow the DMSO/ethanolamine and Pyridine routes.


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  • Law, Matthew
  • Puthussery, James
  • Seefeld, Sean M.
  • Weber, Amanda S.

Other Information


Colloidal iron pyrite, Solar cell, Thin-film, CdTe, GIGS, Nanocrystals, Molecular inks

Categorized As

  • Institute for Innovation Logo
  • Institute for Innovation Logo

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