Sb2S3 is a promising nanomaterial for application in solar cells and other fields of electronics and optoelectronics. Sb2S3 nanoparticles were prepared via the hot-injection approach. In contrast to earlier work, the reaction temperature was decreased to 150°C, so that the reaction was slowed down and could be stopped at defined reaction stages. Thereby, the formation mechanism of the nanomaterial and the associated kinetics could be revealed. Based on morphological and structural analysis, it is suggested that seed particles (type 0) form immediately after injecting the antimony precursor into the sulfur precursor. These seeds fuse to form amorphous nanoparticles (type I) that contain a lower percentage of sulfur than that corresponding to the expected stoichiometric ratio of Sb2S3. The reason for this possibly lies in the formation of an oxygen- or carbon-containing intermediate during the seeding process. Afterward, the type I nanoparticles aggregate into larger amorphous nanoparticles (type II) in a second hierarchical assembly process and form superordinated structures (type III). This process is followed by the crystallization of these particles and a layer-like growth of the crystalline particles by an Ostwald ripening process at the expense of the amorphous particles. It was demonstrated that the kinetic control of the reaction allows tuning of the optical bandgap of the amorphous nanoparticles in the range of 2.2 – 2.0 eV. On the contrary, the optical bandgap of the crystalline particles decreases to a value of 1.7 eV and remains constant when the reaction progresses. Based on the proposed formation mechanism, future syntheses for Sb2S3 particles can be developed, allowing tuning the particles' properties in a broad range. In this way, the selective use of this material in a wide range of applications will become possible.
Keywords: Sb2S3; nanoparticles; band gap; solar cells; kinetics
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Joschko, M.; Fotue Wafo, F. Y.; Malsi, C.; Kisić, D.; Validžić, I.; Graf, C. Beilstein Arch. 2021, 202146. doi:10.3762/bxiv.2021.46.v1
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