Luminescence of defects in the structural transformation of layered tin dichalcogenides

P. Sutter*, H. P. Komsa, A. V. Krasheninnikov, Yuan Huang, E. Sutter

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)
131 Downloads (Pure)


Layered tin sulfide semiconductors are both of fundamental interest and attractive for energy conversion applications. Sn sulfides crystallize in several stable bulk phases with different Sn:S ratios (SnS2, Sn2S3, and SnS), which can transform into phases with a lower sulfur concentration by introduction of sulfur vacancies (VS). How this complex behavior affects the optoelectronic properties remains largely unknown but is of key importance for understanding light-matter interactions in this family of layered materials. Here, we use the capability to induce VS and drive a transformation between few-layer SnS2 and SnS by electron beam irradiation, combined with in-situ cathodoluminescence spectroscopy and ab-initio calculations to probe the role of defects in the luminescence of these materials. In addition to the characteristic band-edge emission of the endpoint structures, our results show emerging luminescence features accompanying the SnS2 to SnS transformation. Comparison with calculations indicates that the most prominent emission in SnS2 with sulfur vacancies is not due to luminescence from a defect level but involves recombination of excitons bound to neutral VS in SnS2. These findings provide insight into the intrinsic and defect-related optoelectronic properties of Sn chalcogenide semiconductors.

Original languageEnglish
Article number262102
Pages (from-to)1-5
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number26
Publication statusPublished - 25 Dec 2017
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


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