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DESIGN OF A CHEMICAL REACTOR FOR INVESTIGATING THE DEPOSITION OF NOVEL SULFIDE SEMICONDUCTOR COATINGS

DOI: 10.1615/ICHMT.2015.IntSympAdvComputHeatTransf.920
pages 1038-1044

Joshua A. Epstein
Materials Science and Engineering, Rutgers, 607 Taylor Road, Piscataway, New Jersey 08854, USA

Dunbar P. Birnie, III
Materials Science and Engineering, Rutgers, 607 Taylor Road, Piscataway, New Jersey 08854, USA

Jerry W. Shan
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Rutgers, 98 Brett Road, Piscataway, New Jersey 08854, USA

Résumé

Large scale adoption of photovoltaic power generation is limited largely by cost. While prices have come down dramatically in the last few years [Powell et al., 2013, Green, 2013], driven to a large degree by an over-investment in silicon-module production in China, there is still a need to drive solar prices even lower. Materials that can overtake silicon, both in terms of efficiency and in lower production costs, need to be evaluated and improved upon. Copper bismuth sulfide (Cu3BiS3), a semiconductor made from low-cost earth-abundant elements [Marcia K. McNutt, 2013, Yaroshevsky, 2006], could be one of these future lower-cost solar-absorber materials [Kehoe et al., 2013].
We are carrying out an effort to synthesize and deposit copper bismuth sulfide, "CBS" for use in photovoltaic devices. Utilizing inexpensive chemical inputs and fabrication processes, this research could pave the way for more cost effective solar technology. An environmentally friendly, low-temperature, solution-based process to synthesize the material has recently been developed [Viezbicke and Birnie, 2013]. This process is now being adapted for thin-film deposition via the use of a small benchtop reactor. The precursor solution is pumped into the reaction chamber and allowed to react directly onto conductive-oxide-coated glass. The newest version of this reactor was built and tested first in a virtual space, utilizing the multiphysics simulation capabilities of COMSOL. The program was mainly used to determine the temperatures required to heat the precursor liquid to reaction temperature while it remains in contact with the reaction surface, as well as ensure flow uniformity within the reactor. Computational and experimental results from these studies will be presented here.

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