A method for forming a compound film includes the steps of preparing a source material, depositing the source material on a base and forming a preparatory film from the source material, heating the preparatory film in a suitable atmosphere to form a precursor film, and providing suitable material to said precursor film to form the compound film. The source material includes oxide-containing particles including Group IB and IIIA elements. The precursor film includes non-oxide Group IB and IIIA elements. The compound film includes a Group IB-IIIA-VIA compound. The oxides may constitute greater than about 95 molar percent of the Group IB elements and greater than about 95 molar percent of the Group IIIA elements in the source material. Similarly, non-oxides may constitute greater than about 95 molar percent of the Group IB elements and greater than about 95 molar percent of the Group IIIA elements in the precursor film. The molar ratio of Group IB to Group IIIA elements in the source material may be greater than about 0.6 and less than about 1.0, or substantially greater that 1.0, in which case this ratio in the compound film may be reduced to greater than about 0.6 and less than about 1.0. The source material may be prepared as an ink from particles in powder form. The oxide-containing particles may include a dopant, as may the compound film. Compound films including a Group IIB-IVA-VA compound may be substituted using appropriate substitutions in the method. The method, also, is applicable to fabrication of solar cells and other electronic devices.
This invention was made with United States Government support under NREL Subcontract No. ZAF-5-14142-07, under Contract No. DE-AC02-83CH10093 between the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and the Department of Energy. The United States Government has certain rights in this invention.