Synthesis, characterization, and electronic structure of single-crystal SnS, Sn2S3, and SnS2

Lee A. Burton, Diego Colombara, Ruben D. Abellon, Ferdinand C. Grozema, Laurence M. Peter, Tom J. Savenije, Gilles Dennler, Aron Walsh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

391 Scopus citations


Tin sulfide is being widely investigated as an earth-abundant light harvesting material, but recorded efficiencies for SnS fall far below theoretical limits. We describe the synthesis and characterization of the single-crystal tin sulfides (SnS, SnS2, and Sn2S 3) through chemical vapor transport, and combine electronic structure calculations with time-resolved microwave conductivity measurements to shed light on the underlying electrical properties of each material. We show that the coexistence of the Sn(II) and Sn(IV) oxidation states would limit the performance of SnS in photovoltaic devices due to the valence band alignment of the respective phases and the "asymmetry" in the underlying point defect behavior. Furthermore, our results suggest that Sn2S 3, in addition to SnS, is a candidate material for low-cost thin-film solar cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4908-4916
Number of pages9
JournalChemistry of Materials
Issue number24
StatePublished - 23 Dec 2013


  • earth-abundant
  • photovoltaic
  • semiconductor
  • tin sulfide
  • workfunction


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