• Raman spectra;
  • Cu2ZnSnS4;
  • kesterite;
  • stannite;
  • stoichiometry;
  • disorder


The Raman spectra of surface regions of bulk Cu2ZnSnS4 (CZTS) samples with different Cu and Zn cation content were obtained and the differences in the spectra are attributed to statistical disorder effects in the cation sublattice. This disorder in the Cu and Zn sublattices may initiate a change of the crystal symmetry from kesterite-type equation image to equation image space group. The investigated CZTS crystals grown at high temperature are characterised by the co-existence of regions with different composition ratio of Cu/(Zn + Sn) which results in kesterite and disordered kesterite phases. The presence of a disordered phase with equation image symmetry is reflected in the appearance of a dominant broadened A-symmetry peak at lower frequency than the peak of the main A-symmetry kesterite mode at 337 cm–1. We suppose that due to a small energy barrier between these phases the transition from one phase to the other can be stimulated by optical excitation of Cu2ZnSnS4. The analysis of the Raman spectra measured under different excitation conditions has allowed obtaining first (to our knowledge) experimental evidence of the existence of such optically induced structural transition in CZTS. (© 2013 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim)