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In situ growth of CuInS2 nanocrystals on nanoporous TiO2 film for constructing inorganic/organic heterojunction solar cells

Zhigang Chen1*, Minghua Tang2, Linlin Song1, Guoqiang Tang1, Bingjie Zhang1, Lisha Zhang3, Jianmao Yang14 and Junqing Hu1

Author Affiliations

1 State Key Laboratory for Modification of Chemical Fibers and Polymer Materials, College of Materials Science and Engineering, Donghua University, Shanghai 201620, China

2 Analysis and Testing Center, Soochow University, Suzhou 215123, China

3 College of Environmental Science and Engineering, Donghua University, Shanghai 201620, China

4 Research Center for Analysis and Measurement, Donghua University, Shanghai 201620, China

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2013, 8:354  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-8-354

Published: 16 August 2013


Inorganic/organic heterojunction solar cells (HSCs) have attracted increasing attention as a cost-effective alternative to conventional solar cells. This work presents an HSC by in situ growth of CuInS2(CIS) layer as the photoabsorption material on nanoporous TiO2 film with the use of poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) as hole-transport material. The in situ growth of CIS nanocrystals has been realized by solvothermally treating nanoporous TiO2 film in ethanol solution containing InCl3 · 4H2O, CuSO4 · 5H2O, and thioacetamide with a constant concentration ratio of 1:1:2. InCl3 concentration plays a significant role in controlling the surface morphology of CIS layer. When InCl3 concentration is 0.1 M, there is a layer of CIS flower-shaped superstructures on TiO2 film, and CIS superstructures are in fact composed of ultrathin nanoplates as ‘petals’ with plenty of nanopores. In addition, the nanopores of TiO2 film are filled by CIS nanocrystals, as confirmed using scanning electron microscopy image and by energy dispersive spectroscopy line scan analysis. Subsequently, HSC with a structure of FTO/TiO2/CIS/P3HT/PEDOT:PSS/Au has been fabricated, and it yields a power conversion efficiency of 1.4%. Further improvement of the efficiency can be expected by the optimization of the morphology and thickness of CIS layer and the device structure.