Structural, Chemical and Optical Properties of the Polyethylene–copper Sulfide Composite Thin Films Synthesized Using Polythionic Acid as Sulfur Source
Copper sulfide, Anilite, Adsorption–diffusion, XRD, XPS
Synthesis and properties of thin copper sulfide films deposited on polyethylene were explored for the development of low cost hybrid organic–inorganic photovoltaic materials. Polyethylene was used as a model organic host material for thin copper sulfide film formation. Adsorption–diffusion method was used which utilized consecutive exposure of polyethylene to polythionic acid followed by aqueous Cu(II/I) solution. Several crystalline copper sulfide phases were obtained in synthesized samples and elucidated using X-ray diffraction. Surface chemical composition determined using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy showed the presence of copper sulfides in combination with copper hydroxide. Thickness of the composite material films ranged from several microns to ∼18 μm and depended on the Cu(II/I) exposure time. Bandgap of the materials obtained was measured and ranged from 1.88 to 1.17 eV. Importantly, heating these complex copper sulfide crystalline phase containing films at 100 °C in inert atmosphere invariably resulted in a single copper sulfide, anilite (Cu1.75S), phase. Anilite possesses a bandgap of 1.36 eV and has demonstrated excellent photovoltaic properties. Thus, the method described in this work can be used for a low cost large scale composite thin film photovoltaic material deposition based on anilite as photoactive material.
Applied Surface Science
Ancutiene, I.; Navea, J. G.; Baltrusaitis, J., Structural, chemical and optical properties of the polyethylene-copper sulfide composite thin films synthesized using polythionic acid as sulfur source. Appl. Surf. Sci. 2015, 347, 520-527.