Junction formation of Cu 3BiS 3 investigated by Kelvin probe force microscopy and surface photovoltage measurements

Fredy Mesa, William Chamorro, William Vallejo, Robert Baier, Thomas Dittrich, Alexander Grimm, Martha C. Lux-Steiner, Sascha Sadewasser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Recently, the compound semiconductor Cu 3BiS 3 has been demonstrated to have a band gap of ~1.4 eV, well suited for photovoltaic energy harvesting. The preparation of polycrystalline thin films was successfully realized and now the junction formation to the n-type window needs to be developed. We present an investigation of the Cu 3BiS 3 absorber layer and the junction formation with CdS, ZnS and In 2S 3 buffer layers. Kelvin probe force microscopy shows the granular structure of the buffer layers with small grains of 20-100 nm, and a considerably smaller work-function distribution for In 2S 3 compared to that of CdS and ZnS. For In 2S 3 and CdS buffer layers the KPFM experiments indicate negatively charged Cu 3BiS 3 grain boundaries resulting from the deposition of the buffer layer. Macroscopic measurements of the surface photovoltage at variable excitation wavelength indicate the influence of defect states below the band gap on charge separation and a surface-defect passivation by the In 2S 3 buffer layer. Our findings indicate that Cu 3BiS 3 may become an interesting absorber material for thin-film solar cells; however, for photovoltaic application the band bending at the charge-selective contact has to be increased.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)277-284
Number of pages8
JournalBeilstein Journal of Nanotechnology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science
  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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