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Growth of a Pure and Single Phase Iron Sulfide (Pyrite) Thin Film by Electrochemical Deposition for Photovoltaic Applications

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Document pages: 11 pages

Abstract: Single phase iron pyrite (FeS2)films have been successfully deposited on ITO-coated glass substrates using a3-electrode electrochemical system with graphite as the counter electrode andAg AgCl as the reference electrode. In this single-step electrodeposition, theFeS precursor thin film was directly electrodeposited on the conductivesubstrate from the electrolytic bath solution which contained FeSO4.7H2Oas an iron source, and Na2S2O3.5H2Oas a sulfur source. The deposition was carried out potentiostatically at a constant potential of -0.9 V vs. Ag AgCl at roomtemperature. The growth of the iron pyrite phase was achieved by annealing theas-deposited at 500°C for an hour in an ambient of sulfur to form the pyritephase. Forsulfurization, two different techniques, one using the Kipp’s apparatus and a second, which involved heating elementalsulfur at 200°C, were used for the production of the sulfur gas. X-raydiffraction analyses of the sulfurized films showed that both sulfurizationtechniques appearedto form the pyrite phase, however, the second method yielded films with maximum crystalline order andstoichiometry with no discernable impurity peaks. Optical absorption measurements revealed theexistence of a direct transition with an estimated band gap of 1.75 eV. SEM micrograph showed a compact morphologywith a rough surface made up of crystallites of irregular shapes and sizes withwell-defined edges, covering the entire substrate. EDAX analysis of the film was consistent with theformation of FeS2 pyrite thin films.

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