Solution Synthesis and Deposition of Kesterite Copper Zinc Tin Chalcogenide Films

Tech ID: 22252 / UC Case 2011-410-0


UCLA researchers in the Department of Material Science and Engineering have developed a solution based method for Cu2ZnSnS4 (CZTS) precursor synthesis that uses earth abundant and environmental friendly materials as a viable alternative to Cu(In,Ga)Se2 (CIGS) for use in solar cells.


Developing a feasible method for renewable energy generation has become a focus due to concerns over global warming and increased demand for energy. Among renewable energy sources, solar energy has attracted the most attention but production scaling and rising costs are hurdles for photovoltaic technologies to compete with traditionally generated power.

In so called "second generation" solar cells, CIGS and its related materials are utilized for the fabrication of low-cost and high-efficiency solar cells. However, the continued supply of the rare metal indium in the mass production stage has created major concerns.


Researchers at UCLA have developed a solution based method for Cu2ZnSnS4 (CZTS) precursor synthesis. This method provides a powerful tool for depositing uniform films in chemical compositions for large scale device fabrication.


Production of all second generation and future solar cells


  • Readily achievable uniform chemical composition distribution (active layer)
  • Precise control of both structural and electrical properties of the solar cell active layer
  • Reduced costs
  • Environmental friendly

State Of Development

Devices have been fabricated with the structure of ITO-glass/CZTS/CdS/Ag and the method was tested and validated in the lab. Photovoltaic effect has been demonstrated from the initial solution processed CZTS device and current-voltage characterization shows an excellent rectifying effect of the p-n junction between CZTS/CdS with an ideality factor of 1.3.

Patent Status

Country Type Number Dated Case
United States Of America Issued Patent 9,502,600 11/22/2016 2011-410


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  • Yang, Yang

Other Information


CZTS, solution process, solar cell, CIGS

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