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Issue 48, 2017
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Cu2ZnSnS4 and Cu2ZnSn(S1−xSex)4 nanocrystals: room-temperature synthesis and efficient photoelectrochemical water splitting

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Abstract

Green synthesis of Cu2ZnSnS4 (CZTS) and Cu2ZnSn(S1−xSex)4 (CZTSSe) nanocrystals is highly desirable for low-cost and high-efficiency solar energy conversion devices. In this work, scalable synthesis of multinary CZTS and CZTSSe nanocrystals at room temperature has been achieved by a simple metal complex solution mixing (Metcomix) process. In the Metcomix process, CZTS or CZTSSe nanocrystals are formed by simply mixing aqueous solutions of copper thiourea complex ([Cu(TU)4]2+), zinc ammonium complex ([Zn(NH3)4]2+) and tin chalcogen complex ([Sn2S6]4−) or tin double chalcogen complex ([Sn2S4Se2]4−) at room temperature. The Metcomix process features low-energy-consuming, low-cost, environmentally friendly, high-purity, and scalable-production. The CZTS and CZTSSe nanocrystals have a small size of 4–10 nm and exhibit remarkable room-temperature photoluminescence and optical absorption properties. The CZTS and CZTSSe nanocrystals are also deposited onto ZnO nanorod arrays and demonstrated as efficient photoanodes for photoelectrochemical water splitting. The ZnO/CZTSSe photoanode exhibits a photocurrent density of 9.06 mA cm−2 at 1.23 V (vs. the NHE) and an optimal applied bias photon-to-current efficiency (ABPE) of ∼3.43% at a bias of 0.60 V. The present work demonstrates a new approach for synthesizing eco-friendly multinary chalcogenide nanocrystals at room temperature and their promising applications in solar energy conversion devices.

Graphical abstract: Cu2ZnSnS4 and Cu2ZnSn(S1−xSex)4 nanocrystals: room-temperature synthesis and efficient photoelectrochemical water splitting

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Publication details

The article was received on 28 Jul 2017, accepted on 16 Nov 2017 and first published on 16 Nov 2017


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7TA06628G
Citation: J. Mater. Chem. A, 2017,5, 25230-25236
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    Cu2ZnSnS4 and Cu2ZnSn(S1−xSex)4 nanocrystals: room-temperature synthesis and efficient photoelectrochemical water splitting

    J. Xu, Z. Hu, J. Zhang, W. Xiong, L. Sun, L. Wan, R. Zhou, Y. Jiang and C. Lee, J. Mater. Chem. A, 2017, 5, 25230
    DOI: 10.1039/C7TA06628G

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