Insight into the mechanism of Sb promoted Cu(In,Ga)Se2 formation

Yong XIANG*, Xiaokun ZHANG, Shu ZHANG

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Sb-doping has been demonstrated to be a new approach to promote Cu(In,Ga)Se2 (CIGS) thin film formation. To study the mechanism of Sb-promoted CIGS formation, we investigated the influence of Sb on the evolution of the critical intermediate Cu-Se phases, and found that Cu 3SbSe3 species was formed. Phase change of the as-prepared Cu-Se compounds at elevated temperature was determined using the differential scanning calorimetry analysis. For samples containing Sb, the melting decomposition occurred at 507.1 °C, along with aggregation of nanocrystals into a bulk, while the morphology of the sample without Sb barely changed after heating. This result suggests that the mobile Cu3SbSe3 is likely the key intermediate responsible for Sb-promoted CIGS formation. Furthermore, we extended the scope of Sb-doping approach to solvothermal synthesis and CIGS nanocrystals were synthesized with significantly promoted kinetics in the presence of Sb. Based on these results, we propose the mechanism of Sb promoted CIGS formation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)278-282
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Solid State Chemistry
Early online date18 Jun 2013
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2013
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

The authors gratefully acknowledge the Innovation Fund from the State Key Laboratory of Electronic Thin Films and Integrated Devices (Contract no. CXJJ2010001) and the startup funds from the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China. This project is partly supported by the National Science Funds of China (Contract no. 51102038) and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (Contract nos. ZYGX2011J133 and ZYGX2012J156).


  • CIGS
  • Mechanism
  • Mobile phase
  • Nanocrystal
  • Sb-doping
  • Solar cell material


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