Low-Temperature Atomic Layer Deposition of CuSbS2 for Thin-Film Photovoltaics

Shannon C. Riha*, Alexandra A. Koegel, Jonathan D. Emery, Michael J. Pellin, Alex B.F. Martinson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Copper antimony sulfide (CuSbS2) has been gaining traction as an earth-abundant absorber for thin-film photovoltaics given its near ideal band gap for solar energy conversion (∼1.5 eV), large absorption coefficient (>104 cm-1), and elemental abundance. Through careful in situ analysis of the deposition conditions, a low-temperature route to CuSbS2 thin films via atomic layer deposition has been developed. After a short (15 min) postprocess anneal at 225 °C, the ALD-grown CuSbS2 films were crystalline with micron-sized grains, exhibited a band gap of 1.6 eV and an absorption coefficient >104 cm-1, as well as a hole concentration of 1015 cm-3. Finally, the ALD-grown CuSbS2 films were paired with ALD-grown TiO2 to form a photovoltaic device. This photovoltaic device architecture represents one of a very limited number of Cd-free CuSbS2 PV device stacks reported to date, and it is the first to demonstrate an open-circuit voltage on par with CuSbS2/CdS heterojunction PV devices. While far from optimized, this work demonstrates the potential for ALD-grown CuSbS2 thin films in environmentally benign photovoltaics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4667-4673
Number of pages7
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number5
StatePublished - Feb 8 2017


  • CuSbS
  • atomic layer deposition
  • copper antimony sulfide
  • photovoltaics
  • ternary metal sulfide
  • thin film
  • thin-film solar cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)


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