Effect of Synthesis Conditions on the Properties of Lead Iron Niobate Ceramics and Thin Films: Possible Candidate for Photovoltaic Devices?

The importance of renewable energies is increasing over time and is becoming more important to compensate for the growing high energy consumption and to counteract climate change. A central issue here is the production of solar cells. Although silicon as the market leader is highly efficient and durable, it is expensive to produce. A cheaper alternative is currently seen in organic-inorganic halide perovskites, which also have high efficiencies, however, their weak point is their longevity, as they are susceptible to humidity and UV light and thus degrade quickly.

With a view to the future, other materials should therefore be investigated for their usability as absorber cells. One group of promising materials are ferroelectrics. The open-circuit voltage is not limited by the band gap and thus the Schottky-Quisser limit could theoretically be circumvented.

This thesis deals with ferroelectric lead-iron niobate (PbNb0.5Fe0.5O3; PFN) and first considerations to use this material as an absorber layer. In order to create a suitable layer, preliminary investigations must be carried out and the material and the manufacturing method must be properly understood. For this reason, this work also deals in detail with the production of the ceramics under various conditions. Only a very good ceramic is the basic building block for a target that can be used in pulsed laser deposition.

After the fabrication and characterization of PFN ceramics, suitable conditions for the layer growth are determined and first experiments regarding the optical properties of the material are performed. Furthermore, an alternative layer fabrication via spin coating is considered. In the end, the band gap of PFN and the possibility of using it as an absorber layer are discussed in detail.


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