Effect of the Counteranion on the Formation Pathway of Cu2ZnSnS4 (CZTS) Nanoparticles under Solvothermal Conditions

Ahmad R, Saddiqi NuH, Wu M, Prato M, Spiecker E, Peukert W, Distaso M (2020)

Publication Language: English

Publication Type: Journal article, Original article

Publication year: 2020


Book Volume: 59

Pages Range: 1973-1984

Journal Issue: 3

DOI: 10.1021/acs.inorgchem.9b03338


Cu2ZnSnS4 and Cu2ZnSnSe4 (CZTS and CZTSe, respectively) and their mixed chalcogenide phase Cu2ZnSnSxSe4-x (CZTSS(e)) are benign and cheap photovoltaic absorber materials that represent a valuable alternative to the more expensive chalcogenide systems: i.e., Cu(In,Ga)SS(e)2 (CIGSS(e)). One of the main challenges related to the fabrication of CZTS(e) layers is the control over both the crystalline phase (tetragonal, cubic, or hexagonal) and the formation of binary (MS, M = Cu(II), Zn(II), Sn(II); M'2-xS, M'= Cu(I), x = 0, 0.2; M″S2, M″ = Sn(IV)) and ternary products (CTS phases, Cu2SnS3, Cu3SnS4) that hinder the performance of the corresponding devices. In the present work, we rationalize the formation pathway of the CZTS phase through binary and ternary products when salt precursors with chloride and acetate as counteranions, respectively, are employed. The results show that the counteranions have a remarkable influence on the formation pathway of CZTS nanoparticles. The use of chloride precursors leads to the predominant formation of CTSs ternary phases (Cu2SnS3, Cu3SnS4), whereas the formation of the CZTS phase is not observed even for higher temperature and longer reaction time (250 °C, 24 h). In the case of acetates the copresence of CZTS as the main product, together with binary and ternary phases, is observed in the early stages of the reaction even at lower temperature and shorter reaction time (200 °C, 2 h), while when the reaction time and temperature are increased, only the CZTS phase is observed. In addition to a careful microstructural characterization of the as-synthesized materials by Raman spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction (XRD), Energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), and high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM), we shed light on the reactivity among the metal precursors, the organic ligand oleylamine, and the sulfur precursor carbon disulfide (CS2) by 13C nuclear magnetic resonance (13C NMR) and investigate in depth the effect on particle surfaces by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), and XPS. A rationale for the formation pathway of CZTS nanoparticles is proposed and supported by experimental evidence.

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Ahmad, R., Saddiqi, N.-u.-H., Wu, M., Prato, M., Spiecker, E., Peukert, W., & Distaso, M. (2020). Effect of the Counteranion on the Formation Pathway of Cu2ZnSnS4 (CZTS) Nanoparticles under Solvothermal Conditions. Inorganic Chemistry, 59(3), 1973-1984. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.inorgchem.9b03338


Ahmad, Rameez, et al. "Effect of the Counteranion on the Formation Pathway of Cu2ZnSnS4 (CZTS) Nanoparticles under Solvothermal Conditions." Inorganic Chemistry 59.3 (2020): 1973-1984.

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