Research Seminar Abstract
Ternary copper-based semiconductor nanoparticles (NPs) have emerged as promising materials for photovoltaic absorbers because they are composed of nontoxic, earth-abundant elements and potentially offer tunability of optoelectronic properties. The compound copper selenophosphate, Cu3PSe4, is often overlooked but is of interest as a p-type absorber, motivated by theory predicting a competitive efficiency of 24%. However, little is known about Cu3PSe4 other than from DFT calculations and basic characterization of bulk samples.
We have developed a new solution-based NP synthesis of this material. Directly nucleated copper phosphide, Cu3P, NPs were synthesized and consumed in a selenization step to form Cu3PSe4 NPs. Multinary nanoparticle synthesis is often challenging because the diversity of interactions between different species adds a layer of complexity in phase and composition control. Current work focuses on the development of strategies that can be extrapolated to other materials composed of these elements to overcome the synthesis bottleneck of materials discovery.