Application of Taguchi method to optimize the sol–gel dip-coating process of the semiconductor Cu2ZnSnS4 with good optical properties

  • Ahmed ZitiEmail author
  • Bouchaib Hartiti
  • Hicham Labrim
  • Salah Fadili
  • Mounia Tahri
  • Amine Belafhaili
  • Abderraouf Ridah
  • Philippe Thevenin
Original Paper: Sol-gel and hybrid materials for optical, photonic and optoelectronic applications


This paper presents the optimal configuration of parameters for the elaborated Cu2ZnSnS4 (CZTS) absorber layer, using the sol–gel method associated with dip-coating technique on ordinary glass substrates. Taguchi design of experiments with L27 (38) orthogonal array, a signal-to-noise (S/N) ratio, and an analysis of variance (ANOVA) were used to determine the best optical properties for photovoltaic applications (optical bandgap energy) of CZTS thin films. Eight factors named annealing temperature, Cu/(Zn+Sn) ratio, Zn/Sn ratio, S/metal ratio, number of pre-annealing and dip coating, dip-coating cycle, annealing time, and dip-coating speed were chosen. To conduct the tests, we apply Taguchi method; three levels were fixed for each factor. The most important factors of the deposition approach on the optical properties of the fixed as-synthesized CZTS films were determined. The analysis of the obtained results indicated that the important parameters are the Zn/Sn ratio and annealing temperature in air by employing Taguchi approach. A validation test is also carried out to check whether the found optimal combinations of the parameter are correct. CZTS thin-film synthesis with optimal conditions has been characterized, using an X-ray diffractometer (XRD), energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), UV–visible spectrophotometer, and four-point probe method. XRD data show a kesterite structure with a preferential orientation along the (112) plan; UV–visible spectrophotometer indicated that the bandgap energy of the CZTS thin film is 1.51 eV and a cross section showed the suitable film thickness in the order of ~1.80 µm.


  • Synthesis of CZTS thin films by sol gel associated to the dip-coating technique.

  • Application of Taguchi method to optimize the sol gel dip-coating process of the semiconductor CZTS with good optical properties.

  • The statistical analysis (ANOVA) has the capacity to give information about certain statistical parameters.

  • The CZTS thin film elaborated with optimal parameters has good morphological optical and electrical properties.


Cu2ZnSnS4 Sol–gel Dip coating Taguchi method ANOVA Optical bandgap 



Prof. Bouchaib HARTITI, senior associate at ICTP (The Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics), is very grateful to ICTP for financial support. Technical support from LMOPS (University of Lorraine, France) is also acknowledged.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ahmed Ziti
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Bouchaib Hartiti
    • 1
  • Hicham Labrim
    • 3
  • Salah Fadili
    • 1
  • Mounia Tahri
    • 4
  • Amine Belafhaili
    • 5
  • Abderraouf Ridah
    • 2
  • Philippe Thevenin
    • 6
  1. 1.ERDyS laboratory, MEEM & DD GroupHassan II University of CasablancaMohammediaMorocco
  2. 2.LIMAT laboratory, Department of Physics FSBHassan II University of CasablancaCasablancaMorocco
  3. 3.Materials Science Unit/DRES/CNESTENRabatMorocco
  4. 4.UGPC/DSTE/DERS//CNESTENRabatMorocco
  5. 5.Centre for Electron MicroscopyFaculty of Sciences, Mohammed V UniversityRabatMorocco
  6. 6.University of Lorraine, LMOPSMetzFrance

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