Stability and Synthesis Across Barium Tin Sulfide Material Space

Rachel Woods-Robinson, Kristin Persson, Andriy Zakutayev

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1 Scopus Citations


Barium tin sulfide (Ba-Sn-S) is a ternary phase space with interesting material candidates for optoelectronic and thermoelectric applications, yet its properties have not been explored in-depth experimentally, and no thin films have been synthesized. This study uses combinatorial sputtering and theoretical calculations to survey the phase space of Ba-Sn-S materials. We experimentally find that at deposition temperatures up to 600 degrees C, phases of rocksalt-derived BaS structures (Fm[3 with combining macron]m), layered SnS derived structures (Aem2), and heavily distorted rocksalt solid solutions (possibly P121/m) dominate phase space, with amorphous films crystallizing in the middle of the composition space (Sn[double bond, length as m-dash]Ba). Upon annealing with a capping layer, ternary phases of Ba2SnS4 (Pna21) and Ba7Sn5S15 (P63cm) are observed. However the theoretically predicted 0 K thermodynamically stable phase of BaSnS2 (P21/c) does not crystallize. These differences are explained with temperature-dependent computed phase diagrams, which show that BaSnS2 becomes unstable at high temperatures while Ba2SnS4 (Pna21) becomes stabilized. Lastly, we compute electronic and optical absorption properties of selected observed and predicted Ba-Sn-S phases, showing band gaps ranging from 1.67-2.5 eV, electron effective masses from 0.5-1 m0, and hole effective masses from 0.6-1.3 m0. These findings motivate future research into materials within this chemical space for solar energy harvesting and other semiconductor applications.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)24948-24958
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Materials Chemistry A
Issue number45
StatePublished - 2023

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5K00-88000


  • annealing
  • density functional theory
  • sputtering
  • stability
  • sulfides


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