Applied Surface Science, Vol.489, 943-951, 2019
Photoswitching and photocatalytic functions of SnxCu1-xS nanostructures
Ultra-thin semiconducting nanostructures are garnering strategic importance in energy and environment remediation applications. In this regard, SnxCu1-xS nanostructures were processed through an eco-friendly chemical route and investigated in detail for photoswitching and photocatalytic functions. X-ray diffraction, FT-IR, Raman, UV-vis absorbance and high-resolution microscopic tools were initially used to examine the physicochemical traits of SnxCu1-xS nanostructures. Ambiguous evidence for the substitution of Sn ions in place of Cu ions was attained through X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. The photocatalytic performance of SnxCu1-xS systems was investigated through effective remediation of organic dye molecules under visible light. Scavenger based photocatalytic experiments were additionally carried out to infer the degradation mechanism. Type II p-n SnxCu1-xS/In2S3 heterojunction diodes were also demonstrated for the first time with improved electrical conductivity and photoelectrical performances. The rectification ratio, forward current values and photo switching capabilities of these diodes were noted to improve in the Current vs. Voltage (I-V) and Current vs. Time (I-T) curves as a function of Sn composition and applied bias potential. The excellent photo switching stability augments the photo generated carriers to be effectively separated along the p-n junctions. The enhanced photoelectronic and photocatalytic functionalities in SnxCu1-xS has finally been reasoned to the improved charge transfer kinetics in the respective architectures, resulting from the effective Sn interaction in hexagonal host lattice.