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Crystals 2017, 7(12), 367;

Chalcogenide Quaternary Cu2FeSnS4 Nanocrystals for Solar Cells: Explosive Character of Mechanochemical Synthesis and Environmental Challenge

Institute of Geotechnics, Slovak Academy of Sciences, 040 01 Košice, Slovakia
Institute of Materials Science of Seville (CSIC-US), 410 92 Sevilla, Spain
Institute of Catalysis, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, 1113 Sofia, Bulgaria
Faculty of Mining, Ecology, Process Control and Geotechnologies, Technical University of Košice, 042 00 Košice, Slovakia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Franziska Emmerling
Received: 30 October 2017 / Revised: 25 November 2017 / Accepted: 5 December 2017 / Published: 9 December 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymorphism of Mechanochemically Synthesized Cocrystals)
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In this study we demonstrate the synthesis of quaternary semiconductor nanocrystals of stannite Cu2FeSnS4/rhodostannite Cu2FeSn3S8 (CFTS) via mechanochemical route using Cu, Fe, Sn and S elements as precursors in one-pot experiments. Methods of X-ray diffraction (XRD), nitrogen adsorption, high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM), scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM), energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) were applied to characterize properties of the unique nanostructures. Mechanochemical route of synthesis induced new phenomena like explosive character of reaction, where three stages could be identified and the formation of nanostructures 5–10 nm in size. By using XPS method, Cu(I), Fe(II), Sn(IV) and S(-II) species were identified on the surface of CFTS. The value of optical band gap 1.27 eV is optimal for semiconductors applicable as absorbers in solar cells. The significant photocatalytic activity of the CFTS nanocrystals was also evidenced. The obtained results confirm the excellent properties of the quaternary semiconductor nanocrystals synthesized from earth-abundant elements. View Full-Text
Keywords: stannite; semiconductor; nanostructure; photocatalysis; mechanochemistry; explosion stannite; semiconductor; nanostructure; photocatalysis; mechanochemistry; explosion

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Baláž, P.; Baláž, M.; Sayagués, M.J.; Eliyas, A.; Kostova, N.G.; Kaňuchová, M.; Dutková, E.; Zorkovská, A. Chalcogenide Quaternary Cu2FeSnS4 Nanocrystals for Solar Cells: Explosive Character of Mechanochemical Synthesis and Environmental Challenge. Crystals 2017, 7, 367.

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