Two-step synthesis of antimony sulfide thin films: enhancement in physical properties through sulfurization

D. M. Kavya, B. Jyeshta Prabhu, Nagabhushan Jnaneshwar Choudhari, Mariot Jose Panjikaran, Sajan D. George, Suresh D. Kulkarni, Vikash Mishra, Y. Raviprakash

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Recently, there has been an increase in the use of antimony sulfide (Sb2S3) in Si-based tandem solar cells as a potential absorber material for top sub-cells. The choice of the material stems from the favoured properties such as appropriate bandgap, simple binary composition, nontoxic elements, and long-term stability. However, the physical properties and practical applicability of these materials depend largely on their synthesis conditions. In this work, we investigate the role of sulfurization on the structural, morphological, compositional, and optical properties of Sb2S3 thin films deposited on soda-lime glass via a thermal evaporation technique. Sulfurization was performed on the as-prepared thin films in a customized Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) chamber at five different temperatures. Analysis of the crystallinity of the film using the x-ray diffraction technique illustrates the transformation of the film from impure, poor crystalline phase to phase-pure, and highly crystalline orthorhombic structure due to sulfurization. Scanning electron microscopic investigations of the samples revealed better grains with nanorods on the surface at a temperature of 400 °C. For the samples investigated here, the energy values estimated via density functional theory (DFT) calculations agreed well with the experimental data obtained from UV-visible absorption spectral studies. Additionally, it was observed that the desired near-stoichiometric Sb2S3 thin films could be achieved via sulfurization, and the presence of Sb2S3 in all samples was confirmed via Raman spectroscopic studies. Additionally, the defects and trap states of the prepared films were investigated using photoluminescence studies, and donor and acceptor defects were identified. Our study revealed that sulfur rich Sb2S3 films prepared at a sulfurization temperature of 400 °C produced the desired structure, morphology, and optical qualities for future photovoltaic applications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number046402
JournalMaterials Research Express
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 01-04-2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Metals and Alloys


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