Esperto, L.; Figueira, I.; Mascarenhas, J.; Silva, T.P.; Correia, J.B.; Neves, F. Structural and Optical Characterization of Mechanochemically Synthesized CuSbS2 Compounds. Materials2022, 15, 3842.
Esperto, L.; Figueira, I.; Mascarenhas, J.; Silva, T.P.; Correia, J.B.; Neves, F. Structural and Optical Characterization of Mechanochemically Synthesized CuSbS2 Compounds. Materials 2022, 15, 3842.
One of the areas of research on materials for thin-film solar cells focuses on replacing In and Ga with more earth-abundant elements. In that respect, chalcostibite (CuSbS2) is being considered as a promising environmentally friendly and cost-effective photovoltaic absorber material. In the present work, single CuSbS2 phase have been synthesized directly by a short duration (2 h) mechanochemical synthesis step starting from mixtures of elemental powders. X-ray diffraction analysis of the synthesized CuSbS2 powders revealed a good agreement with the orthorhombic chalcostibite phase, space group Pnma, and a crystallite size of 26 nm. Particle size characterization revealed a multimodal distribution with a median diameter ranging from of 2.93 m to 3.10 m. The thermal stability of the synthesized CuSbS2 powders was evaluated by differential thermal analysis. No phase change was observed by heat treating the mechanochemically synthesized powders at 350 C for 24 h. By UV-VIS-NIR spectroscopy the optical bandgap was determined to be 1.41 eV, suggesting that the mechanochemically synthesized CuSbS2 can be considered suitable to be used as absorber materials. Overall, the results show that the mechanochemical process is a viable route for the synthesis of materials for photovoltaic applications.
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