Molecular Precursor Route to Bournonite (CuPbSbS3) Thin Films and Powders

Yasser T. Alharbi, Firoz Alam, Khaled Parvez, Mohamed Missous, David J. Lewis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Quaternary metal chalcogenides have attracted attention as candidates for absorber materials for inexpensive and sustainable solar energy generation. One of these materials, bournonite (orthorhombic CuPbSbS3), has attracted much interest of late for its properties commensurate with photovoltaic energy conversion. This paper outlines the synthesis of bournonite for the first time by a discrete molecular precursor strategy. The metal dithiocarbamate complexes bis(diethyldithiocarbamato)copper (II) (Cu(S2CNEt2)2, (1)), bis(diethyldithiocarbamato)lead (II) (Pb(S2CNEt2)2, (2)), and bis(diethyldithiocarbamato)antimony (III) (Sb(S2CNEt2)3, (3)) were prepared, characterized, and employed as molecular precursors for the synthesis of bournonite powders and the thin film by solvent-less pyrolysis and spray-coat-pyrolysis techniques, respectively. The polycrystalline powders and thin films were characterized by powder X-ray diffraction (p-XRD), which could be indexed to orthorhombic CuPbSbS3. The morphology of the powder at the microscale was studied using scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX) was used to elucidate an approximately 1:1:1:3 Cu/Pb/Sb/S elemental ratio. An optical band gap energy of 1.55 eV was estimated from a Tauc plot, which is close to the theoretical value of 1.41 eV.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13691-13698
Number of pages8
JournalInorganic Chemistry
Issue number17
Early online date12 Aug 2021
Publication statusPublished - 6 Sept 2021


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