Sinnerite (Cu6As4S9) is a semiconductor computed to have attractive optoelectronic properties, but little attention has been paid to its experimental synthesis and characterization. Here, the authors report the first synthesis of polycrystalline sinnerite thin films. By heating Cu3AsS4 nanoparticles in sealed ampoules with As2S2 powder, a phase transformation to Cu6As4S9 is achieved along with the formation of micronsized dense grains appropriate for device applications. The films display a bandgap of ~1.2 eV, significant photocurrent generation under simulated AM1.5 illumination, and carrier lifetimes nearing 1 ns, demonstrating the promise of sinnerite for use in photovoltaic applications.
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The authors acknowledge the National Science Foundation for funding under grant #1534691-DMR (Rapid Design of Earth Abundant Inorganic Materials for Future PVs). S.A.M. acknowledges Purdue University for a Bilsland Dissertation Fellowship. The authors thank Kyle Weideman, Yining Feng, and Professor Luna Lu for Hall effect measurements; Joseph Andler, Essam AlRuqobah, and Xianyi Hu for providing Mo films; Apurva Pradhan for helpful comments on the manuscript; Alexei Lagoutchev for helpful discussions regarding the collection of reflectance data; and Joseph Andler for the assistance with the abstract graphic.
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McClary, S.A., Agrawal, R. Synthesis and characterization of semiconducting sinnerite (Cu6As4S9) thin films. MRS Communications 10, 188–193 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1557/mrc.2020.11