Bulletin of Materials Science

, 42:256 | Cite as

Ligand exchange in \(\hbox {Cu}_{2}\hbox {ZnSnS}_{4}\) nanoparticles and its effect on counter electrode performance in dye-sensitized solar cells

  • C Imla Mary
  • M Senthilkumar
  • S Moorthy BabuEmail author


Ligand-exchanged \(\hbox {Cu}_{2}\hbox {ZnSnS}_{4}\) (CZTS) nanoparticles (NPs) were successfully synthesized from colloidal NPs by replacing the long chain organic ligand from the surface of NPs via a bi-phasic method. It was found that ammonium sulphide salt \(((\hbox {NH}_{4})_{2}\hbox {S})\) plays a key role in changing the surface of the NPs from hydrophobic to hydrophilic. The efficacy of the ligand exchange process over the surface of the CZTS NPs was analysed using X-ray diffraction, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, ultraviolet–visible spectroscopy and scanning electron microscopy with energy dispersive X-ray. The ligand-exchanged CZTS NP-based counter electrodes (CEs) were fabricated by drop casting the inorganic ligand (ammonium sulphide)-capped CZTS nanoink onto the conducting substrate. Our result indicates that dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) with inexpensive CZTS NP-based CEs show 2.42% efficiency. The present result indicates that CZTS CEs will be helpful as an alternative CE to a Pt CE in DSSC application.


DSSC CZTS CEs Pt CEs bi-phasic ligand exchange colloidal NPs 



The authors sincerely thank DST (DST-TM/SERI/FR/90(G)) and UGC (F.No. 42-855/2013) for funding the research work. The IV characteristics were determined using the facility at CeNSE (INUP user program) in IISc, Bengaluru, funded by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), and Govt. of India.


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Copyright information

© Indian Academy of Sciences 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Crystal Growth CentreAnna UniversityChennaiIndia

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