Journal of Chemical Physics

Density-functional theory computer simulations of CZTS0.25Se0.75 alloy phase diagrams

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Density-functional theory simulations of CZTS, CZTSe, and CZTS0.25Se0.75 photovoltaic compounds have been performed to investigate the stability of the CZTS0.25Se0.75 alloy vs. decomposition into CZTS, CZTSe, and other secondary compounds. The Gibbs energy for vibrational contributions was estimated by calculating phonon spectra and thermodynamic properties at finite temperatures. It was demonstrated that the CZTS0.25Se0.75 alloy is stabilized not by enthalpy of formation but primarily by the mixing contributions to the Gibbs energy. The Gibbs energy gains/losses for several decomposition reactions were calculated as a function of temperature with/without intermixing and vibration contributions to the Gibbs energy. A set of phase diagrams was built in the multidimensional space of chemical potentials at 300 K and 900 K temperatures to demonstrate alloy stability and boundary compounds at various chemical conditions. It demonstrated for CZTS0.25Se0.75 that the chemical potentials for stability differ between typical processing temperature (∼900 K) and operating temperature (300 K). This implies that as cooling progresses, the flux/concentration of S should be increased in MBE growth to maintain the CZTS0.25Se0.75 in a thermodynamically stable state to minimize phase decomposition.


09 Aug 2016


Journal of Chemical Physics