One-step in situ synthesis of antimony sulfide/reduced graphene oxide composite as an absorber layer with enhanced photocurrent performances for solar cells

  • Pezhman Molaei
  • Iraj KazeminezhadEmail author
Research Paper


Antimony sulfide/reduced graphene oxide (Sb2S3-rGO) composite was successfully deposited on titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanorod array via a novel one-step chemical bath deposition method. The heterostructures were characterized by structural, optical, and electrochemical measurements. The self-assembled combination of Sb2S3 and reduced graphene oxide (rGO) nanostructure in the nanoarchitecture indicated a promising synergistic effect for solar cells with a remarkable enhanced electrochemical performance. The average crystallite size of 27 and 30 nm was calculated for Sb2S3-rGO and Sb2S3, respectively, from XRD measurement, and the diameter of nanoparticles grown on rGO nanosheet was estimated about 50 nm from FESEM images. Moreover, the result of electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) indicated that the TiO2/Sb2S3-rGO bilayer interfacial resistance was approximately five times lower than that of TiO2/Sb2S3. Additionally, TiO2/Sb2S3-rGO exhibited a rapid and stable photocurrent density that was seven times greater compared to that of TiO2/Sb2S3. These enhancements were mainly ascribed to the presence of the conductive rGO sheets that acting as an electron reservoir through retarding electron-hole recombination. These achievements strongly suggested the Sb2S3-rGO composite as a promising material for use as an absorber layer in solid state Sb2S3-sensitized solar cells.


Sb2S3 Sb2S3-rGO composite Sb2S3-rGO CBD Sb2S3-rGO photocurrent Sb2S3-rGO EIS Nanostructured materials Energy conversion 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.


  1. Badawy WA (2015) A review on solar cells from Si-single crystals to porous materials and quantum dots. J Adv Res 6:123–132CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Balis N, Konios D, Stratakis E, Kymakis E (2015) Ternary organic solar cells with reduced graphene oxide-Sb2S3 hybrid nanosheets as the cascade material. ChemNanoMat 1:346–352CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Banshwar A, Sharma NK, Sood YR, Shrivastava R (2017) Renewable energy sources as a new. Energy Strateg Rev 18:106–120CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bouclé J, Ackermann J (2012) Solid-state dye-sensitized and bulk heterojunction solar cells using TiO2 and ZnO nanostructures: recent progress and new concepts at the borderline. Polym Int 61:355–373CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Braff WA, Mueller JM, Trancik JE (2016) Value of storage technologies for wind and solar energy. Nat Clim Chang 6:964–969CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Cao Y, Saygili Y, Ummadisingu A, Teuscher J, Luo J, Pellet N, Giordano F, Zakeeruddin SM, Moser JE, Freitag M, Hagfeldt A, Grätzel M (2017) 11% efficiency solid-state dye-sensitized solar cells with copper(II/I) hole transport materials. Nat Commun 8:15390CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Cavusoglu H, Chen X, Gentine P, Sahin O (2017) Potential for natural evaporation as a reliable renewable energy resource. Nat Commun 8:617–625CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Chen GY, Zhang WX, Xu AW (2010) Synthesis and characterization of single-crystal Sb2S3 nanotubes via an EDTA-assisted hydrothermal route. Mater Chem Phys 123:236–240CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Choi YC, Yeom EJ, Ahn TK, Seok SI (2015) CuSbS2-sensitized inorganic–organic heterojunction solar cells fabricated using a metal–thiourea complex solution. Angew Chem Int Ed 54:1–6CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Chung I, Lee B, He J, Chang RP, M. Kanatzidis G (2012) All-solid-state dye-sensitized solar cells with high efficiency. Nat 485:486–489CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Creutzig F, Agoston P, Goldschmidt JC, Luderer G, Nemet G, Pietzcker RC (2017) The underestimated potential of solar energy to mitigate climate change. Nat Energy 2:17140CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Dong J, Wu J, Jia J, Fan L, Lin J (2017) Nickel selenide/reduced graphene oxide nanocomposite as counter electrode for high efficient dye-sensitized solar cells. J Colloid Interface Sci 498:217–222CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Godel KC, Choi YC, Roose B, Sadhanala A, Snaith HJ, Seok SI, Steiner U, Pathak SK (2015) Efficient room temperature aqueous Sb2S3 synthesis for inorganic-organic sensitized solar cells with 5.1% efficiencies. Chem Commun 51:8640–8643CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Hagfeldt A, Boschloo G, Sun L, Kloo L, Pettersson H (2010) Dye sensitized solar cells. Chem Rev 110:6595–6663CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Han G, Zhang S, Boix PP, Wong LH, Sun L, Lien S (2017) Towards high efficiency thin film solar cells. Prog Mater Sci 87:246–291CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Hossain MA, Jennings JR, Shen C, Pan JH, Koh ZY, Mathews N, Wang Q (2012) CdSe-sensitized mesoscopic TiO2 solar cells exhibiting >5% efficiency: redundancy of CdS buffer layer. J Mater Chem 22:16235–16242CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Houshmand M, Esmaili H, Zandi MH, Gorji NE (2015) Degradation and device physics modeling of TiO2/CZTS ultrathin film photovoltaics author links open overlay panel. Mater Lett 157:123–126CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Huang H, Yang L, Sharma B (2017) Recent advances in organic ternary solar cells. J Mater Chem A 5:11501–11517CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Jun GH, Jin SH, Lee B, Kim BH, Chae WS, Hong SH, Jeon S (2013) Enhanced conduction and charge-selectivity by N-doped graphene flakes in the active layer of bulk-heterojunction organic solar cells. Energy Environ Sci 6:3000–3006CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Kabir E, Kumar P, Kumar S, Adelodun AA, Kim K (2018) Solar energy: potential and future prospects. Renew Sust Energ Rev 82:894–900CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Kim M, Lee C, Jang J (2014) Fabrication of highly flexible, scalable, and high-performance supercapacitors using polyaniline/reduced graphene oxide film with enhanced electrical conductivity and crystallinity. Adv Funct Mater 24:2489–2499CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Li Z, Gong F, Zhou G, Wang ZS (2013a) NiS2/reduced graphene oxide nanocomposites for efficient dye-sensitized solar cells. J Phys Chem C 117:6561–6566CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Li Y, Wei L, Zhang R, Chen Y, Mei L, Jiao J (2013b) Annealing effect on Sb2S3−TiO2 nanostructures for solar cell applications. Nanoscale Res Lett 8:89–95CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Lu S, Zhao Y, Chen C, Zhou Y, Li D, Li K, Chen W, Wen X, Wang C, Kondrotas R, Lowe N, Tang J (2017) Sb2Se3 thin-film photovoltaics using aqueous solution sprayed SnO2 as the buffer layer. Adv Electron Mater 1700329Google Scholar
  25. Luo Q, Hao F, Wang S, Shen H, Zhao L, Li J, Grätzel M, Lin H (2014) Highly efficient metal-free sulfur-doped and nitrogen and sulfur dual-doped reduced graphene oxide counter electrodes for dye-sensitized solar cells. J Phys Chem C 118:17010–17018CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Maghraoui-Meherzi H, Ben Nasr T, Kamoun N, Dachraoui M (2010) Structural, morphology and optical properties of chemically deposited Sb2S3 thin films. Phys B Condens Matter 405:3101–3105CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Mishra RK, Upadhyay SB, Kushwaha A, Kim TH, Murali G, Verma R, Srivastava M, Singh J, Sahay PP, Lee SH (2015) SnO2 quantum dots decorated on RGO: a superior sensitive, selective and reproducible performance for a H2 and LPG sensor. Nanoscale 7:11971–11979CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Molaei P, Kazeminezhad I (2018) Extended photocurrent performance of antimony trisulfide/reduced graphene oxide composite prepared via a facile hot-injection route. Ceram Int 44:13191–13196CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Muhammad HS, Ritikos R, Whitcher TJ, NMd R, Bien DCS, Chanlek N, Nakajima H, Saisopa T, Songsiriritthigul P, Huang NM, Rahman SA (2014) A practical carbon dioxide gas sensor using room-temperature hydrogen plasma reduced graphene oxide. Sensors Actuators B Chem 193:692–700CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Pramanik S, Ravikrishna RV (2017) A review of concentrated solar power hybrid technologies. Appl Therm Eng 127:602–637CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Priolo F, Gregorkiewicz T, Galli M, Krauss TF (2014) Silicon nanostructures for photonics and photovoltaics. Nat Nanotechnol 9:19–32CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Rahimi A, Kazeminezhad I (2018) Synthesis and investigation of SnS2/RGO nanocomposites with different GO concentrations: structure and optical properties, photocatalytic performance. J Mater Sci-Mater Electron 29:4449–4456CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Shalini S, Balasundara prabhu R, Prasanna S, Mallick TK, Senthilarasu S (2015) Review on natural dye sensitized solar cells: operation, materials and methods. Renew Sust Energ Rev 51:1306–1325CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Sivagami AD, Sarma A (2018) One-pot solvothermal synthesis of rGO-CAS nanobrick composites with enhanced photoelectric properties. J Mater Sci-Mater Electron 29:20122–20132. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Song YT, Lin LY, Chen YS, Chen HQ, Ni ZD, Tu CC, Yang SS (2016) Novel TiO2/Sb2S3 heterojunction with whole visible-light response for photoelectrochemical water splitting reactions. RSC Adv 6:49130–49137CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Su Y, Lu X, Xie M, Geng H, Wei H, Yang Z, Zhang Y (2013) A one-pot synthesis of reduced graphene oxide-Cu2S quantum dot hybrids for optoelectronic devices. Nanoscale 5:8889–8893CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Tang H, He S, Peng C (2017) A short progress report on high-efficiency perovskite solar cells. Nanoscale Res Lett 12:410–417CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Toshniwal A, Kheraj V (2017) Development of organic-inorganic tin halide perovskites: a review. Sol Energy 149:54–59CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Wang Y, Sun P, Cong S, Zhao J, Zou G (2015) Carbon nanotubes embedding organic ionic plastic crystals electrolytes for high performance solid-state dye-sensitized solar cells. Carbon 92:262–270CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Wu Q, Zhao H, Huang F, Hou J, Cao H, Liu Z, Peng S, Cao G (2017) Impacts of reduced graphene oxide in CdS/CdSe quantum dots cosensitized solar cells. J Phys Chem C 121:18430–18438CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Xue C, An H, Yan X, Li J, Yang B, Wei J, Yang G (2017) Spatial charge separation and transfer in ultrathin CdIn2S4/rGO nanosheet arrays decorated by ZnS quantum dots for efficient visible-light-driven hydrogen evolution. Nano Energy 39:513–523CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Zhang Z, Shi C, Xiao G, Lv K, Ma C, Yue J (2017) All-solid-state quantum-dot-sensitized solar cells with compact PbS quantum-dot thin films and TiO2 nanorod arrays. Ceram Int 43:10052–10056CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Zheng P, Dai Z, Zhang Y, Dinh KN, Zheng Y, Fan H, Yang J, Dangol R, Li B, Zong Y, Yan Q, Liu X (2017) Scalable synthesis of SnS2/S-doped graphene composites for superior Li/Na-ion batteries. Nanoscale 9:14820–14825CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Zhu C, Zhu S, Zhang K, Hui Z, Pan H, Chen Z, Li Y, Zhang D, Wang DW (2016) Confined SnO2 quantum-dot clusters in graphene sheets as high-performance anodes for lithium-ion batteries. Sci Rep 6:25829CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Physics Department, Faculty of ScienceShahid Chamran University of AhvazAhvazIran
  2. 2.Center for Research on Laser and PlasmaShahid Chamran University of AhvazAhvazIran

Personalised recommendations