Single source precursors or pre-copolymers of single source precursors are subjected to microwave radiation to form particles of a I-III-VI.sub.2 material. Such particles may be formed in a wurtzite phase and may be converted to a chalcopyrite phase by, for example, exposure to heat. The particles in the wurtzite phase may have a substantially hexagonal shape that enables stacking into ordered layers. The particles in the wurtzite phase may be mixed with particles in the chalcopyrite phase (i.e., chalcopyrite nanoparticles) that may fill voids within the ordered layers of the particles in the wurtzite phase thus produce films with good coverage. In some embodiments, the methods are used to form layers of semiconductor materials comprising a I-III-VI.sub.2 material. Devices such as, for example, thin-film solar cells may be fabricated using such methods.
This Invention was made under a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement between Precision Nanoparticles PNP, LLC and Battelle Energy Alliance, LLC under Contract No. DE AC05ID14517, awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The U.S. Government has certain rights in the invention.