Structured zinc indium sulfide films via polystyrene nanosphere templates for photocatalysis
Marco Sigl a, Melissa Egger a, Thomas Rath a, Fernando Warchomicka b, Gregor Trimmel a
a Graz University of Technology, Institute for Chemistry and Technology of Materials (ICTM), NAWI, Stremayrgasse, 9, Graz, Austria
b Graz University of Technology, Institute of Materials Science, Joining and Forming (IMAT)
Materials for Sustainable Development Conference (MATSUS)
Proceedings of MATSUS23 & Sustainable Technology Forum València (STECH23) (MATSUS23)
#Adinos - Advances in inorganic thin film semiconductors for solar energy conversion: From photovoltaics to solar fuels
València, Spain, 2023 March 6th - 10th
Organizer: Sudhanshu Shukla
Poster, Marco Sigl, 321
Publication date: 22nd December 2022

Metal sulfides are a versatile material class with a high potential in green energy applications such as solar cells, photocatalysis as well as energy storage. While in the literature there are many reports on the synthesis, characterization and application of metal sulfide films, only a few explore the topic of structured metal sulfide thin films. To obtain such structured thin films, mostly either soft-templating with directing agents and hard-templating with, for example, mesoporous silica can be found. In this study, nanosphere colloidal lithography and zinc and indium xanthates as precursors were employed for the preparation of porous zinc indium sulfide films.

Monolayers of polystyrene nanospheres (PS-NS) with approximate diameters of 0.3 µm, prepared via a self-assembly process at an air/water interface, served as template [1]. In the next step, the  template is infiltrated by the precursor solution. A thermal treatment first converts the xanthates to the metal sulfide and allows a subsequent removal of the PS template, leaving the honeycomb-structured zinc indium sulfide thin films with macropores in the 0.3 µm regime [2]. Additionally, to these formed macropores, the decomposition of metal xanthate precursors is known to form mesopores with their size being tunable via side-chain engineering of the xanthate precursors. These pore sizes range from 3.9 nm to 5.6 nm [3]. By combining macropores from nanosphere colloidal lithography and mesopores from xanthate decomposition, a hierarchical pore structure is obtained and the surface area of the material is distinctly enhanced, which is beneficial for their catalytic activity. The obtained films are studied with a wide variety of characterization techniques such as optical and electron microscopy, infrared and UV-Vis spectroscopy as well as X-ray diffraction (XRD) and scattering (SAXS, WAXS) and their gracing incidence variants.


This work was financally supported by the Graz University of technology Lead Project Porous Materials @ Work for Sustainability (LP-03)

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