1School of Metallurgy and Materials Engineering, College of Engineering, University of Tehran, Iran
2Center of Excellence in Materials for Low-Energy Consumption Technologies, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran
3School Of Metallurgy and Materials Eng., College of Eng., University of Tehran
Chalcopyrite materials have attracted a lot of interests because of their potential applications in sustainable energy storage and photovoltaics. Copper antimony sulfide (CuSbS2) with chalcostibite structure is a member of chalcopyrite family and benefits from earth-abundance, appropriate optical band gap, high absorption coefficient, and attractive power conversion efficiency. In this research, CuSbS2 nanoparticles are synthesized through a simple solvothermal method. The synthesis were performed with ethylenediamine (En) as a solvent and antimony trichloride (SbCl3), copper (II) chloride (CuCl2), and sulfur as precursors in autoclave at 120 °C for 24 h. The obtained powders were then sonicated and centrifuged several times with ethanol to reach the desired nanoparticles. The synthesis times of 3, 6, and 12 h are also considered. X-ray diffraction (XRD) and Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscopy (FESEM) are used to characterize the composition, morphology, and structure of the as-prepared samples. The results indicate that shortening the synthesis time leads to formation of finer grains and decreases the crystallinity. According to FESEM results, less agglomerations is observed in shorter synthesis time, while average particle size does not show a drastic change. Surprisingly, the synthesis time of 3 h brings about pure chalcostibite structure with mean particle size of about 150 nm and almost near stoichiometry composition, which have never been reported before, and may cause from our precursor solution preparation and engineered sequential addition. XRD results show that when time of synthesis is as short as 3 h, the crystallinity decreases and a few impurities are observed. Effect of synthesis time on the formation of CuSbS2 nanoparticles and grain growth have been discussed in details. Achieving CuSbS2 nanoparticles with very short synthesis time may open up new horizons for the development of cost-effective yet environmentally-friendly photovoltaic devices.