Effects of Thermochemical Treatment on CuSbS2 Photovoltaic Absorber Quality and Solar Cell Reproducibility

Andriy Zakutayev, Adam Welch, Patricia Dippo, Francisco de Souza Lucas, Hannes Hempel, Thomas Unold, Rainer Eichberger, Beatrix Blank, Uwe Rau, Lucia Mascaro, Lauryn Baranowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Scopus Citations


CuSbS2 is a promising nontoxic and earth-abundant photovoltaic absorber that is chemically simpler than the widely studied Cu2ZnSnS4. However, CuSbS2 photovoltaic (PV) devices currently have relatively low efficiency and poor reproducibility, often due to suboptimal material quality and insufficient optoelectronic properties. To address these issues, here we develop a thermochemical treatment (TT) for CuSbS2 thin films, which consists of annealing in Sb2S3 vapor followed by a selective KOH surface chemical etch. The annealed CuSbS2 films show improved structural quality and optoelectronic properties, such as stronger band-edge photoluminescence and longer photoexcited carrier lifetime. These improvements also lead to more reproducible CuSbS2 PV devices, with performance currently limited by a large cliff-type interface band offset with CdS contact. Overall, these results point to the potential avenues to further increase the performance of CuSbS2 thin film solar cell, and the findings can be transferred to other thin film photovoltaic technologies.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)18377-18385
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry C
Issue number33
StatePublished - 25 Aug 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 American Chemical Society.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5K00-66168


  • copper antimony sulfide
  • photovoltaic absorbers
  • thermochemical treatment


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