Tetrahedrally Coordinated Disordered Cu2SnS3-Cu2ZnSnS4-ZnS Alloys with Tunable Optical and Electronic Properties

Peter T. Erslev, Matthew R. Young, Jian V. Li, Sin Cheng Siah, Rupak Chakraborty, Hui Du, Robert J. Lad, Tonio Buonassisi, Glenn Teeter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus Citations


A key requirement for large-scale deployment of photovoltaic technologies is the development of highly functional materials with controllable opto-electronic properties. In this work, we report on the room-temperature synthesis of disordered alloys of the Earth-abundant, tetrahedrally coordinated semiconductors Cu2SnS3, Cu2ZnSnS4 (CZTS), and ZnS as (Cu2SnS3)1-x(ZnS) x. The resulting disordered semiconductors are found to have continuously and independently tunable optical and electronic properties. Quasi-isovalent alloying on the cation sublattice allows the optical band gap to be varied continuously from 1.1 eV to 2.8 eV. Aliovalent alloying leads to independent control of carrier concentration over at least three orders of magnitude. A conceptual framework describing these disordered materials is presented, in which the structural disorder, constrained by local tetrahedral coordination of both anions and cations, leads to the observed high degree of tunability of the opto-electronic properties. These materials are not only independently interesting, but the developed framework also applies to the opto-electronic properties of kesterite CZTS materials as well as provides a basis for the development of new semiconductors.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)124-131
Number of pages8
JournalSolar Energy Materials and Solar Cells
StatePublished - Oct 2014

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5K00-60159


  • Alloys
  • Electro-optical properties
  • Photovoltaics
  • Thin film


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