Simplistic toxic to non-toxic hydrothermal route to synthesize Cu2ZnSnS4 nanoparticles for solar cell applications

S. A. Vanalakar, A. S. Kamble, S. W. Shin, S. S. Mali, G. L. Agawane, V. L. Patil, J. Y. Kim, P. S. Patil, J. H. Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Solution-synthesized nanostructured Cu2ZnSnS4 (CZTS) has attracted significant attention as a promising candidate for use as an efficient and inexpensive photovoltaic energy convertor material. In general, the solution synthesized route involves the use of toxic and explosive chemicals. The current report emphasizes a non-toxic surfactant mediated hydrothermal route for the synthesis of CZTS NPs (CZTS NPs) without the use of toxic chemicals. The physical and chemical properties of the CZTS NPs were studied using X-ray diffraction (XRD), Raman spectroscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) techniques. The XRD and Raman spectroscopy results confirmed the formation of single-phase kesterite CZTS NPs. TEM analysis revealed the formation of well-dispersed CZTS NPs that were ~5-10nm in size. The sodium dodecyl sulfate surfactant played a key role in the formation of the CZTS NPs. The optical absorption studies revealed that the CZTS NPs had an optical band gap of 1.85eV, which is favorable for photovoltaic applications. The synthesized CZTS NPs could be used in the form of ink, which could be used to directly coat large area thin film solar cells. Moreover, the probable reaction mechanism for the formation of surfactant assisted CZTS NPs is proposed in present report.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1146-1153
Number of pages8
JournalSolar Energy
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was funded by the Human Resources Development , Korea Institute of Energy Technology Evaluation and Planning (KETEP), Korea Government Ministry of Knowledge Economy (No.: 20124010203180 ). This work was supported by the Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB), Department of Science and Technology (DST), New Delhi, India (No. SR/FTP/PS-083/2012 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Elsevier Ltd.


  • CZTS
  • Nanoparticles
  • Solar cells
  • Surfactant


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