Journal of Materials Science: Materials in Electronics

, Volume 29, Issue 23, pp 20455–20461 | Cite as

Eco-friendly and non-toxic thin film solar cell employing spray pyrolysed p-CZTS and n-SnS:Cu—a novel approach

  • Gisa Grace Ninan
  • M. R. Rajesh Menon
  • R. Geethu
  • D. R. Deepu
  • C. SudhaKartha
  • K. P. VijayakumarEmail author


n-Type SnS:Cu thin films are fabricated using chemical spray pyrolysis and are used successfully for solar cell device fabricationwith the configuration ITO/CZTS/SnS:Cu/ZnO:Al/Ag for the first time. The device has high open-circuit voltage (Voc) of 810 mV, short circuit current density (Jsc) of 0.87 mA/cm2, fill factor (FF) of 51% and an efficiency of 0.36%. Similar device structure is not reported so far. Even though the Jsc obtained is less, we could achieve a good Voc and FF value which are comparable with the parameters obtained for well established solar devices. The structural, morphological, electrical and optical properties of SnS:Cu films used for the cell fabrication are studied using X-ray diffraction, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy, Scanning electron microscopy, Hall measurements and UV-Vis-NIR spectroscopy. The oxygen concentration is decreased from 49 to 8% as the Sulfur concentration is increased and hence proved that adjustment of precursor ratio is a very effective method to control the oxygen content of the samples, which is a determining factor in the performance of the device. This work suggests an easily adoptable method for preparing n-type SnS:Cu thin films favorable for device fabrication by varying tin to sulphur ratio.



The authors would like to thank Prof. M. K. Jayaraj, Nanophotonic & Optoelectronic Devices laboratory (CUSAT-Cochin) for helping us with Raman measurements and Ms. BagyshriA Chalke, DCMP (TIFR-Mumbai) for SEM analysis required for this work. One of the authors [G.G.N.] would like to express gratitude to UGC for providing fellowship in the form of ‘Research Fellowships in Science for Meritorious Students’ (UGC—RFSMS). The authors (KPV) and (CSK) would like to thank CSIR and KSCSTE respectively, for financial assistance under “Emeritus Scientist” Scheme.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

There are no conflicts of interest for the present study.


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Authors and Affiliations

  • Gisa Grace Ninan
    • 1
  • M. R. Rajesh Menon
    • 2
  • R. Geethu
    • 1
  • D. R. Deepu
    • 3
  • C. SudhaKartha
    • 1
  • K. P. Vijayakumar
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of PhysicsCochin University of Science and TechnologyKochiIndia
  2. 2.Centre of Excellence in Advanced MaterialsCochin University of Science and TechnologyKochiIndia
  3. 3.Department of PhysicsIndian Institute of Science Education and ResearchTirupatiIndia

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