Chalcogenisation of Cu-Sb metallic precursors into Cu3Sb(SexS1-x)3

Pietro Maiello*, Guillaume Zoppi, Robert Miles, Nicola Pearsall, Ian Forbes

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)
5 Downloads (Pure)


Cu3SbS3 is a novel chalcogenide semiconductor with p-type conductivity and an energy bandgap of 1.84 eV. By incorporating selenium into this material to form Cu3Sb(SexS1−x)3 where x=Se/(Se+S), the energy bandgap can be altered to be in the range 1.38–1.84 eV for 0<x<0.49. The energy bandgap can hence be adjusted to be near the optimum for making the absorber layer for use in single and multi-junction photovoltaic solar cell devices. In this paper these materials were prepared using a two-stage process that involved magnetron sputtering of the Cu–Sb precursor layers followed by conversion to Cu3SbS3 by annealing in the presence of elemental sulphur and to Cu3Sb(SxSe1−x)3 by annealing in the presence of a mixture of sulphur and selenium. The films synthesised were characterised using scanning electron microscopy, energy dispersive x-ray analysis, x-ray diffraction, secondary ion mass spectroscopy and photo-electrochemical measurements. When the Cu3SbS3 was formed on glass substrates it had a cubic crystal structure whereas when it was formed on Mo-coated glass it had the monoclinic crystal structure. Likewise the layers of Cu3Sb(S,Se)3 formed on Mo-coated glass also had the monoclinic crystal structure. Spectral response curves were recorded over the spectral range 400–1400 nm for semiconductor—electrolyte junctions. Photovoltaic solar cell devices were made using p-type Cu3Sb(SxSe1−x)3 as the absorber layer and n-type CdS as the buffer layer. The photovoltaic effect was observed in these devices.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)186-194
Number of pages8
JournalSolar Energy Materials and Solar Cells
Early online date17 Mar 2013
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2013


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