Evolution of detrimental secondary phases in unstable Cu2ZnSnS4 films during annealing

Hyo Rim Jung, Seung Wook Shin, K. V. Gurav, Myeng Gil Gang, Jeong Yong Lee, Jong Ha Moon, Jin Hyeok Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The formation and phase evolution of Cu-S based compounds in kesterite Cu2ZnSnS4 (CZTS) absorbing thin films is a critical factor affecting the performance of these materials in thin film solar cells (TFSCs). However, to the best of our knowledge, few studies have investigated the segregation of Cu-S based compounds in kesterite thin films during the sulfurization process. In this study, stacked Cu/SnS2/ZnS precursor thin films were annealed to systematically study the segregation and phase evolution of Cu-S based compounds in kesterite thin films subjected to functional sulfurization times at 550°C. The stacked precursor thin films appeared to be fully transformed to the pure kesterite phase when the sulfurization times are over 30 min. when analyzed using X-ray diffraction and Raman spectroscopy. However, transmission electron microscopy (TEM) characterization revealed that Cu-S based compounds segregated in the kesterite CZTS thin films annealed for 120 min. at 550°C. Based on the experimental results obtained for functional sulfurization times, a mechanism for Cu-S based compounds segregation and the phase evolution process is proposed. [Figure not available: see fulltext.]

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)139-146
Number of pages8
JournalElectronic Materials Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work is supported by the Human Resources Development program (No. 20124010203180) of the Korea Institute of Energy Technology Evaluation and Planning (KETEP) Grant funded by the Korea Government Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy. This work was partially supported by Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning (NRF- 2015R1A2A2A01006856).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016, The Korean Institute of Metals and Materials and Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.


  • Cu-S phase segregation
  • CuZnSnS (CZTS)
  • earth abundant elements
  • thin film solar cells (TFSCs)
  • transmission electron microscopy (TEM)

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