Colloidal synthesis of CuInS2 nanoparticles: Crystal phase design and thin film fabrication for photoelectrochemical solar cells
Tuc Altaf, Çiğdem
Demirci Sankır, Nurdan
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This study reports the colloidal synthesis of copper indium disulfide (CuInS2) nanoparticles in different crystal phases to be employed as thin film photoanodes in photoelectrochemical water splitting process. First, CuInS2 nanoparticles with chalcopyrite-, zincblende-, wurtzite-as well as polytypic-phases have been synthesized using hot injection method. The effects of solvent, temperature and type of precursors on the phase design have been thoroughly investigated via various spectroscopic techniques such as XRD, SEM, HRTEM, UV-Vis and PL spectroscopy and Zeta particle size analysis. The XRD spectra have been revealed that the all the targeted nanoparticles had good crystallinity and free from undesired binary sulfides. The synthesized nanoparticles have been re-dispersed in N, N-dimethylformamide (DMF) to form nanoink paste and applied on fluorine doped tin oxide coated glass substrate by doctor blade technique. DMF has been found to be an enviable solvent for thin film fabrication since it could lead to the crack free and uniform surface formation. The chalcopyrite thin film has shown the best photoelectrochemical performance with the photocurrent density of ∼15 mA cm−2 and conversion efficiency of 6.7%. Howbeit, thin films photoanodes bearing wurtzite, zincblende and polytypic CuInS2 nanoparticles have been investigated to compare the performance of different crystal phases for photoelectrochemical solar cell applications. Moreover, it should be emphasized that all thin film electrodes have been investigated under 1-sun condition without any surface modification, chemical treatment and etching. Additionally, the thin films except wurtzite structure exhibited good stability along 2 h under dark and illuminated conditions.