A process for chemical bath deposition of selenide and sulfide salts as films and powders employable as precursors for the fabrication of solar cell devices. The films and powders include (1) Cu.sub.x Se.sub.n, wherein x=1-2 and n=1-3; (2) Cu.sub.x Ga.sub.y Se.sub.n, wherein x=1-2, y=0-1 and n=1-3; (3) Cu.sub.x In.sub.y Se.sub.n, wherein x=1-2.27, y=0.72-2 and n=1-3; (4) Cu.sub.x (InGa).sub.y Se.sub.n, wherein x=1-2.17, y=0.96-2 and n=1-3; (5) In.sub.y Se.sub.n, wherein y=1-2.3 and n=1-3; (6) Cu.sub.x S.sub.n, wherein x=1-2 and n=1-3; and (7) Cu.sub.x (InGa).sub.y (SeS).sub.n, wherein x=1-2, y=0.07-2 and n=0.663-3. A reaction vessel containing therein a substrate upon which will form one or more layers of semiconductor material is provided, and relevant solution mixtures are introduced in a sufficient quantity for a sufficient time and under favorable conditions into the vessel to react with each other to produce the resultant salt being prepared and deposited as one or more layers on the substrate and as a powder on the floor of the vessel. Hydrazine is present during all reaction processes producing non-gallium containing products and optionally present during reaction processes producing gallium-containing products to function as a strong reducing agent and thereby enhance reaction processes.
The United States Government has rights in this invention under Contract No. DE AC36-83CH10093 between the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, a division of the Midwest Research Institute.