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Copper-Based Ternary and Quaternary Semiconductor Nanoplates: Templated Synthesis, Characterization, and Photoelectrochemical Properties


  • This work was supported by MOE under AcRF Tier 2 (ARC 26/13, No. MOE2013-T2-1-034), AcRF Tier 1 (RG 61/12, RGT18/13, and RG5/13), and Start-Up Grant (M4080865.070.706022) in Singapore. This Research is also conducted by NTU-HUJ-BGU Nanomaterials for Energy and Water Management Programme under the Campus for Research Excellence and Technological Enterprise (CREATE), which is supported by the National Research Foundation, Prime Minister’s Office, Singapore.


Two-dimensional (2D) copper-based ternary and quaternary semiconductors are promising building blocks for the construction of efficient solution-processed photovoltaic devices at low cost. However, the facile synthesis of such 2D nanoplates with well-defined shape and uniform size remains a challenge. Reported herein is a universal template-mediated method for preparing copper-based ternary and quaternary chalcogenide nanoplates, that is, CuInS2, CuInxGa1−xS2, and Cu2ZnSnS4, by using a pre-synthesized CuS nanoplate as the starting template. The various synthesized nanoplates are monophasic with uniform thickness and lateral size. As a proof of concept, the Cu2ZnSnS4 nanoplates were immobilized on a Mo/glass substrate and used as semiconductor photoelectrode, thus showing stable photoelectrochemical response. The method is general and provides future opportunities for fabrication of cost-effective photovoltaic devices based on 2D semiconductors.