Vol 7, No 8 (2016) > Metalurgy and Material Engineering >

Non-sulfurization Single Solution Approach to Synthesize CZTS Thin Films

Badrul Munir, Bayu Eko Prastyo, Ersan Yudhapratama Muslih, Dwi Marta Nurjaya


Abstract: The growth and crystallization
processes of the Cu2ZnSnS4 (CZTS) phase typically rely on
high-temperature sulfurization, which involves a harmful chalcogen-containing
atmosphere. Together with the use of high-toxicity solvents, these processes
could hinder the widespread adoption of this technology in the mass production
of CZTS semiconductors for solar cell application. Thus, we studied the
formation of CZTS films from ethanol-based precursors without the sulfurization
step, fully employing the non-toxic solvent and avoiding the environmentally
harmful sulfur-containing atmosphere. The certain addition of
2-mercaptopropionic acid led to the formation of a clear and stable
sulfur-containing precursor. The precursors were successfully deposited onto
soda lime glass by employing
spin coater. CZTS crystallinity in the identified XRD patterns was vanishingly
small in the case of eliminating the sulfurization process. Moreover, the
carbon concentration and grain size of the resulting films were controlled by
changing the time period of drying treatment during film fabrication. A drying
time of 120
minutes, which demonstrated a CZTS grain size of ± 1 µm with a direct optical energy gap around 1.4 eV, was confirmed as the ideal
condition. These results may provide a useful route toward environment-friendly
strategies for the production of a CZTS semiconductor that is compatible with
the absorber application in thin-film
solar cells.
Keywords: Cu2ZnSnS4 semiconductor; Drying treatment; Sulfurization; Sulfur-containing precursor; Thin-film solar cells

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