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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 512409, 6 pages
Research Article

Layer-by-Layer Nanoassembly of Copper Indium Gallium Selenium Nanoparticle Films for Solar Cell Applications

Integrated Nanosystems Development Institute (INDI), Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), Indianapolis, IN 46202, USA

Received 5 June 2012; Accepted 4 September 2012

Academic Editor: Gaurav Mago

Copyright © 2012 A. Hemati et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Thin films of CIGS nanoparticles interdigited with polymers have been fabricated through a cost-effective nonvacuum film deposition process called layer-by-layer (LbL) nanoassembly. CIGS nanoparticles synthesized by heating copper chloride, indium chloride, gallium chloride, and selenium in oleylamine were dispersed in water, and desired surface charges were obtained through pH regulation and by coating the particles with polystyrene sulfonate (PSS). Raising the pH of the nanoparticle dispersion reduced the zeta-potential from  mV at pH 7 to  mV at pH 10.5. Coating the CIGS nanoparticles with PSS (CIGS-PSS) produced a stable dispersion in water with  mV zeta-potential. Thin films of oppositely charged CIGS nanoparticles (CIGS/CIGS), CIGS nanoparticles and PSS (CIGS/PSS), and PSS-coated CIGS nanoparticles and polyethylenimine (CIGS-PSS/PEI) were constructed through the LbL nanoassembly. Film thickness and resistivity of each bilayer of the films were measured, and photoelectric properties of the films were studied for solar cell applications. Solar cell devices fabricated with a 219 nm CIGS film, when illuminated by 50 W light-source, produced 0.7 V open circuit voltage and 0.3 mA/cm2 short circuit current density.