Copper Tin Sulfide (Cu2SnS3) Semiconductors

Topics Covered

Chemical Properties
Electrical Properties
Thermal and Mechanical Properties
Recent Development


Copper tin sulfide is characterized by a tetragonal-cubic transition at 780°C. It is largely found in the mineral mohite. It has multinary-metal chalcogenide compositions containing only non-toxic and abundant elements, and hence it is widely used in developing environmentally sustainable processes and devices.


Copper tin sulfide finds applications in the following:

  • Small band-gap semiconductors
  • Nonlinear materials
  • Photovoltaic cell materials.

Chemical Properties

The chemical properties of copper tin sulfide are provided in the table below:

Chemical Properties
Chemical Formula Cu2SnS3
Group Copper – 11
Tin – 14
Sulfur - 16
Lattice Constant 5.436 Å

Electrical Properties

The electrical properties of copper tin sulfide are provided in the table below:

Electrical Properties
Magnetic Susceptibility 1.82 x10-5
Band Gap 0.91 eV
Hole Mobility 405 cm2/Vs

Thermal and Mechanical Properties

The thermal and mechanical properties of copper tin sulfide are provided in the tables below:

Thermal Properties
Debye Temperature -59°C
Thermal Expansion Coefficient 7.8 µm/m°C
Specific Heat Capacity 0.440 J/g°C
Thermal Conductivity 2.80 W/mK
Mechanical Properties
Density 5.02 g/cm3
Melting Point 837°C
Knoop Microhardness 2770

Recent Development

Nair MTS et al (2003) prepared copper tin sulfide thin films by heating a layer of copper sulfide (CuS) thin film deposited over a tin sulfide (SnS) thin film obtained by chemical bath deposition. When heated in a nitrogen atmosphere at 300-340°C, the CuS layer converts to Cu8S5, which reacts with the underlying SnS thin film at about 400 °C to form Cu4SnS4. The optical band gap of Cu4SnS4 was found to be approximately 1 eV, involving direct forbidden transitions, and the electrical conductivity in the dark is about 1 Ω-1 cm-1.



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