Improvement of Antimony Sulfide photo absorber performance by interface modification in Sb2S3-ZnO hybrid nanostructures

Result date: 01/01/2016
Author: A. Ali
Institute: Nanosciences and Technology Department, National Centre for Physics, Quaid-i-Azam University Campus, Islamabad, Pakistan
Publication: Physica E
Metal-oxide chalcogenide nanostructures as part of hybrid systems are very important for photovoltaic and optoelectronic applications. It is however known that the various interfaces within the hybrid structures play a crucial role in limiting the efficiency of these devices. Here we report on the improvement of Sb2S3 structure through modification of interface between Zn-oxide nanostructures and chalcogenides. ZnO nanorods were grown on fluorine doped tin oxide (FTO) substrate by chemical bath deposition (CBD) method. X-ray diffraction (XRD) and SEM analysis confirmed the single phase wurtzite structure and c-axis orientation of the ZnO nanorod arrays. Antimony tri-sulfide (Sb2S3) was deposited on ZnO nanords by CBD and subsequently annealed at 300 °C in argon environment for 30 min. XRD and the XPS analysis of ZnO-Sb2S3 system showed the dominant presence of Sb2O3 rather than Sb2S3. Since oxidation of Sb2S3 is understood to proceed mainly from the ZnO-Sb2S3 interface, a ZnS interlayer was introduced between ZnO nanorods and Sb2S3 by chemical route. The subsequent structural and optical properties of the ZnO-ZnS-Sb2S3 system are analyzed in detail. The introduction of sulfide interlayer prevents the oxidation of Sb2S3 which is evident from reduced oxide phase in Sb2S3. Significant improvement in the structural and optical properties of Sb2S3 are reported as compared to the parent ZnO-Sb2S3 system. This gain in the optical properties of hybrid ZnO-ZnS-Sb2S3 nanostructures is explained as being related to successful prevention of Sb2O3 formation at the Sb-ZnO interface and stabilization of the desired Sb2S3.