Nano Research

, Volume 10, Issue 1, pp 218–228 | Cite as

Characterization of tin(II) sulfide defects/vacancies and correlation with their photocurrent

  • Mingyang Liu
  • Luqing Wang
  • Linan Zhou
  • Sidong Lei
  • Jarin Joyner
  • Yingchao Yang
  • Robert Vajtai
  • Pulickel Ajayan
  • Boris I. Yakobson
  • Pol Spanos
Research Article


The presence of defects/vacancies in nanomaterials influences the electronic structure of materials, and thus, it is necessary to study the correlation between the optoelectronic properties of a nanomaterial and its defects/vacancies. Herein, we report a facile solvothermal route to synthesize three-dimensional (3D) SnS nanostructures formed by {131} faceted nanosheet assembly. The 3D SnS nanostructures were calcined at temperatures of 350, 400, and 450 °C and used as counter electrodes, before their photocurrent properties were investigated. First principle computation revealed the photocurrent properties depend on the defect/vacancy concentration within the samples. It is very interesting that characterization with positron annihilation spectrometry confirmed that the density of defects/vacancies increased with the calcination temperature, and a maximum photocurrent was realized after treatment at 400 °C. Further, the defect/vacancy density decreased when the calcination temperature reached 450 °C as the higher calcination temperature enlarged the mesopores and densified the pore walls, which led to a lower photocurrent value at 450 °C than at 400 °C.


SnS microspheres mesoporous nanosheet assembly defects/vacancies positron annihilation spectrometry photocurrent 


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The theoretical-computational analysis of this work was supported by the U.S. Army Research Office MURI grant W911NF-11-1-0362.

Supplementary material

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Characterization of tin(II) sulfide defects/vacancies and correlation with their photocurrent


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Copyright information

© Tsinghua University Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mingyang Liu
    • 1
  • Luqing Wang
    • 1
  • Linan Zhou
    • 2
  • Sidong Lei
    • 1
  • Jarin Joyner
    • 2
  • Yingchao Yang
    • 1
  • Robert Vajtai
    • 1
  • Pulickel Ajayan
    • 1
  • Boris I. Yakobson
    • 1
  • Pol Spanos
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Materials Science and NanoengineeringRice UniversityHoustonUSA
  2. 2.Department of ChemistryRice UniversityHoustonUSA

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