Combinatorial Tuning of Structural and Optoelectronic Properties in CuxZn1-xS

Andriy Zakutayev, Rachel Woods-Robinson, Yanbing Han, John Mangum, Celeste Melamed, Brian Gorman, Apurva Mehta, Kristin Persson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus Citations


P-type transparent conductors (TCs) are important enabling materials for optoelectronics and photovoltaics, but their performance still lags behind n-type counterparts. Recently, semiconductor CuxZn1−xS has demonstrated potential as a p-type TC, but it remains unclear how properties vary with composition. Here, we investigate CuxZn1−xS across the entire alloy space (0 ≤ x ≤ 1) using combinatorial sputtering and high-throughput characterization. First, we find a metastable wurtzite alloy at an intermediate composition between cubic endpoint compounds, contrasting with solid solutions or cubic composites (ZnS:CuyS) from the literature. Second, structural transformations correlate with shifts in hole conductivity and absorption; specifically, conductivity increases at the wurtzite phase transformation (x ≈ 0.19). Third, conductivity and optical transparency are optimized within a “TC regime” of 0.10 < x < 0.40. This investigation reaffirms CuxZn1−xS as a promising, tunable, multifunctional semiconductor alloy, provides new insight into composition-dependent evolution of structure and properties, and informs future research into device applications.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)862-880
Number of pages19
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2 Oct 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5K00-73042


  • combinatorial sputtering
  • copper zinc sulfide
  • MAP 3: Understanding
  • negative pressure polymorph
  • p-type transparent conductor
  • structure-property mapping


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