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tin ii selenide is a narrow band-gap (IV-VI) semiconductor structurally analogous to black phosphorus. It has received considerable attention in recent years for applications such as low-cost photovoltaics and memory-switching devices.
Tin selenide exhibits high thermoelectric properties with an intrinsically ultra-low lattice thermal conductivity up to 2.6 at 813 K. This is a promising material for the direct and reversible conversion between heat and electrical energy. This can also be used to convert waste heat into power and thus can pave the way for renewable energy generation.
SnSe based solar cells have attracted much interest due to its favorable bandgap (1.0-1.3 eV), higher absorption coefficient (105 cm-1) and lower cost than other compound semiconductors such as CIGS, CdTe, and CZTSSe. However, its reported efficiency is relatively low compared to CIGS and CdTe. This can be attributed to the defects present in absorber materials, interface trap states, and unfavorable hetero-junction interfaces.
Hence, it is important to engineer tin selenide to achieve higher power conversion efficiency. This requires precise control of elements, precise growth conditions, favorable band alignment between absorber and buffer layer. Moreover, it needs careful design of electrodes for efficient transport of electrons from the absorber to metal electrodes.
Various synthesis methods have been developed for tin ii selenide, including solution-phase synthesis, atomic layer deposition (ALD),17 thermal evaporation and sputtering,18 etc. It has demonstrated promising versatility in solar cells,19 thermoelectric,20 photodetector,21 photocatalytic,22 phase change memory,23 gas sensing,24 anode material for battery,25 supercapacitor,26 and topological insulator.