Thin film electrodes are being heavily investigated in photoelectrochemical (PEC) solar cells, due to a number of features. They are easy to manufacture, demand small amounts of starting materials, environmentally friendly and non-costly. Due to their suitable band gap values (ranging 1.5 – 2.5 eV) metal cholcogenides (MX: M = Cd, Cu, Zn etc; X = S, Se, Te) are among the most attractive systems. However, metal chalcogenides can be hazardous if they leak to environment due to toxicity of the elements used. They are also unstable under PEC conditions which causes their environmental contamination. Therefore, careful management is needed while considering such materials at commercially wide scale. Recycling metal chalcogenide based solar cells may prevent contamination of the environment. In this presentation, we describe our group findings in recycling different types of metal-chalcogenide based film electrodes. Both recycling routes, using chemical bath deposition and electrochemical deposition methods, are described. The results show that metal-chalcogenide film electrodes can be recycled to yield electrodes with no loss of efficiency. Moreover, simple methods can be used to further enhance PEC characteristics of the recycled film electrodes, such as controlled annealing and cooling rate. High conversion efficiency and stability have already been manifested here. Results, discussions and models will all be presented.
Key words: Solar Energy; Recycling; Metal-chalcogenide film electrodes; PEC.