Effect of ammonium sulfide treatments on the surface properties of Cu2ZnSnSe4 thin films

Marie Buffiere, Guy Brammertz, Abdel Aziz El Mel, Nicolas Barreau, Marc Meuris, Jef Poortmans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)


In this contribution, we report on the impact of ammonium sulfide ((NH4)2Sx) chemical treatments done at room temperature on the surface properties of Cu2ZnSnSe4 (CZTSe) thin film. The first approach is based on the immersion of the absorber layer in a (NH4)2Sx solution (20wt.%). This method results in the preferential etching of Se, Sn and Zn atoms from the absorber surface. After a treatment time of 1min, the performances of the solar cells are found to be improved. The second approach consists in the exposure of the CZTSe layer to ammonium sulfide vapors. In this case, it was found that the progressive sulfurization of the surface of the absorber leads to the decomposition of the CZTSe phase into Sn(S,Se)x and Se0 secondary phases. As a consequence, the short circuit current of the corresponding solar cells is reduced.

Original languageEnglish
JournalThin Solid Films
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 1 May 2016



  • Chemical treatment
  • Copper zinc tin selenide
  • Decomposition
  • Kesterite
  • Secondary phases
  • Solar cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Materials Chemistry

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