Advertisement

Doped quaternary metal chalcogenides Cu2ZnSnS4 nanocrystals as efficient light harvesters for solar cell devices

  • Tayyaba Kokab
  • Zumaira Siddique
  • Shahid Hussain
  • Azhar IqbalEmail author
Article
  • 3 Downloads

Abstract

In this study, we report highly stable photoactive quaternary metal chalcogenide Cu2ZnSnS4 nanocrystals synthesis from low cost, ecofriendly, non-toxic and earth-abundant elements for photovoltaic devices. Their electro-optical properties such as, tunable band gap, high-absorption coefficient and wide absorption window make them highly suitable materials to be utilized as absorber layer and counter electrode in various types of solar cells. For this purpose, first we synthesized Cu2ZnSnS4 nanocrystals by colloidal, co-precipitation, wet chemical and hydrothermal methods using stabilizing agents under variable reaction conditions. Afterwards, hydrothermal method was employed to synthesize nanocrystals of Cu2CoSnS4, Cu2FeSnS4, Cu2SrSnS4 and Cu2NiSnS4 by replacing Zn with Co, Fe, Sr and Ni metals. The UV–Vis absorption spectra indicate the nanocrystals can absorb entire visible region of electromagnetic radiation and their band gaps range from 1.5 to 1.7 eV. The X-ray diffraction (XRD) patterns confirm the formation of kieserite phase of all nanocrystals with a crystallite size of approximately 6–10 nm. These nanocrystals are coated on surface of the synthesized ZnO nanoparticles to study their application as absorbing layer in quantum dots-sensitized solar cells (QDSSCs). Moreover, they were adsorbed on ITO substrate to study their utilization as counter electrode of dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs). The solar cells exhibit efficiencies of 1.2–1.8%, which prove the synthesized nanocrystals can perform excellent role as light absorber and counter electrode in any kind of solar cell device.

Notes

Acknowledgements

This work was performed within the Department of Chemistry Quaid-i-Azam University Islamabad. The authors gratefully acknowledge financial support by Higher Education Commission (HEC) Pakistan through research/equipment Grant (20-3071/NRPU/R&D/HEC/13). This work was also financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China Grant No. 51950410596. We also greatly thank Dr. Safeer Ahmed for assisting with I–V measurements.

References

  1. 1.
    A. Jorgensen, P.H. Gobster, Shades of green: measuring the ecology of urban green space in the context of human health and well-being. Nat. Cult. 5, 338–363 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    C.T. Tugcu, I. Ozturk, A. Aslan, Renewable and non-renewable energy consumption and economic growth relationship revisited: evidence from G7 countries. Energy Econ. 34, 1942–1950 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    M.A. Green, Thin-film solar cells: review of materials, technologies and commercial status. J. Mater. Sci.: Mater. Electron. 18, 15–19 (2007)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    P.K. Singh, G. Jairath, S.S. Ahlawat, Nanotechnology: a future tool to improve quality and safety in meat industry. J. Food Sci. Technol. 53, 1739–1749 (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    C. Burda, X. Chen, R. Narayanan, M.A. El-Sayed, Chemistry and properties of nanocrystals of different shapes. Chem. Rev. 105, 1025–1102 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    X. Chen, S. Shen, L. Guo, S.S. Mao, Semiconductor-based photocatalytic hydrogen generation. Chem. Rev. 110, 6503–6570 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    H. Hasegawa, T. Sato, Electrochemical processes for formation, processing and gate control of III–V semiconductor nanostructures. Electrochim. Acta 50, 3015–3027 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    S. Chen, X. Gong, A. Walsh, S.H. Wei, Electronic structure and stability of quaternary chalcogenide semiconductors derived from cation cross-substitution of II-VI and I-III-VI2 compounds. Phys. Rev. B 79, 165211 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Q. Liu, Z. Cai, D. Han, S. Chen, Natural intermediate band in I2-II-IV-VI4 quaternary chalcogenide semiconductors. Sci. Rep. 8, 1604 (2018)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    D. Aldakov, A. Lefrançois, P. Reiss, Ternary and quaternary metal chalcogenide nanocrystals: synthesis, properties and applications. J. Mater. Chem. C 1, 3756–3776 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    L. Guen, W. Glaunsinger, Electrical, magnetic, and EPR studies of the quaternary chalcogenides Cu2AIIBIVX4 prepared by iodine transport. J. Solid State Chem. 35, 10–21 (1980)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    C. Wang, S. Chen, J.H. Yang, L. Lang, H.J. Xiang, X.G. Gong, A. Walsh, S.H. Wei, Design of I2–II–IV–VI4 semiconductors through element substitution: the thermodynamic stability limit and chemical trend. Chem. Mater. 26, 3411–3417 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    J. Ebenezar, Recent trends in materials science and applications: nanomaterials, crystal growth, thin films, quantum dots, & spectroscopy. Springer Proc. Phys. 189, 396 (2017)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    B.S. Rao, B.R. Kumar, V.R. Reddy, T.S. Rao, Preparation and characterization of CdS nanoparticles by chemical co-precipitation technique. Chalcogenide Lett. 8, 177–185 (2011)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    R. Raja, P. Sudhagar, A. Devadoss, C. Terashima, L. Shrestha, K. Nakata, R. Jayavel, K. Ariga, A. Fujishima, Pt-free solar driven photoelectrochemical hydrogen fuel generation using 1T MoS2 co-catalyst assembled CdS QDs/TiO2 photoelectrode. Chem. Commun. 51, 522–525 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Z. Yan, A. Wei, Y. Zhao, J. Liu, X. Chen, Growth of Cu2ZnSnS4 thin films on transparent conducting glass substrates by the solvothermal method. Mater. Lett. 111, 120–122 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Y. Havryliuk, M.Y. Valakh, V. Dzhagan, O. Greshchuk, V. Yukhymchuk, A. Raevskaya, O. Stroyuk, O. Selyshchev, N. Gaponik, D. Zahn, Raman characterization of Cu2ZnSnS4 nanocrystals: phonon confinement effect and formation of CuxS phases. RSC Adv. 8, 30736–30746 (2018)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Y. Hamanaka, W. Oyaizu, M. Kawase, T. Kuzuya, Synthesis of highly non-stoichiometric Cu2ZnSnS4 nanoparticles with tunable bandgaps. J. Nanopart. Res. 19, 9 (2017)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    W. Liu, B. Guo, X. Wu, F. Zhang, C. Mak, K. Wong, Facile hydrothermal synthesis of hydrotropic Cu2ZnSnS4 nanocrystal quantum dots: band-gap engineering and phonon confinement effect. J. Mater. Chem. A 1, 3182–3186 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    A.N.P. Madathil, K.A. Vanaja, M. Jayaraj, Synthesis of ZnO nanoparticles by hydrothermal method. J. Nanophotonic Mater. 4, 66390 (2007)Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    P.C. Lin, S. Lin, P.C. Wang, R. Sridhar, Techniques for physicochemical characterization of nanomaterials. Biotechnol. Adv. 32, 711–726 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    M.T. Winkler, W. Wang, O. Gunawan, H.J. Hovel, T.K. Todorov, D.B. Mitzi, Optical designs that improve the efficiency of Cu2ZnSn(S, Se)4 solar cells. Energy Environ. Sci. 7, 1029–1036 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    S. Ito, T.N. Murakami, P. Comte, P. Liska, C. Grätzel, M.K. Nazeeruddin, M. Grätzel, Fabrication of thin film dye sensitized solar cells with solar to electric power conversion efficiency over 10%. Thin Solid Films 516, 4613–4619 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Y. Li, Q. Han, T.W. Kim, W. Shi, Synthesis of wurtzite–zincblende Cu2ZnSnS4 and Cu2ZnSnSe4 nanocrystals: insight into the structural selection of quaternary and ternary compounds influenced by binary nuclei. Nanoscale 6, 3777–3785 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    A. Mendez-Lopez, A. Morales-Acevedo, Y.J. Acosta-Silva, M. Ortega-Lopez, Synthesis and characterization of colloidal CZTS nanocrystals by a hot-injection method. J. Nanomater. 2016, 7486094 (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    X. Zhang, Y. Xu, C. Pang, Y. Wang, L. Shen, A. Gupta, N. Bao, Insight into the crystal phase and shape evolution from monoclinic Cu1.94S to wurtzite Cu2ZnSnS4 nanocrystals. CrystEngComm 20, 2351–2356 (2018)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    J. Wang, X. Xin, Z. Lin, Cu2ZnSnS4 nanocrystals and graphene quantum dots for photovoltaics. Nanoscale 3, 3040–3048 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    M. Sohail, Z.H. Shah, S. Saeed, N. Bibi, S. Shahbaz, S. Ahmed, S. Shabbir, M. Siddiq, A. Iqbal, Hole transfer from CdSe nanoparticles to TQ1 polymer in hybrid solar cell device. J. Mol. Struct. 1159, 67–73 (2018)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ChemistryQuaid-i-Azam UniversityIslamabadPakistan
  2. 2.School of Materials Science and EngineeringJiangsu UniversityZhenjiangChina

Personalised recommendations