Solvothermal synthesis of Cu3BiS3 enabled by precursor complexing

Brian D. Viezbicke, Dunbar P. Birnie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Copper bismuth sulfide, Cu3BiS3, has been prepared by a solvothermal method that relies on precursor complexing to achieve the desired ternary chalcogenide preferentially over possible binary sulfides in the system. The complexing agent L-cystine also simultaneously donates sulfur to the compound when the complexes are dissociated at a single temperature. This low temperature and use of nitrate salts instead of the commonly employed but less "green" chloride salts provide a path toward cleaner methods. The reaction progression has been characterized by X-ray powder diffraction of sequential samples and shows complete reaction of reagents to form the Wittichenite phase. Spectroscopy analysis reveals confirmation of a direct bandgap at approximately 1.5 eV. Microscopy images reveal varying morphology dominated by nanorods and including particles with aspect ratios approaching 1:1. A low-temperature Cu3BiS3 synthesis employing L-cystine as a sulfur source and complexing agent, nitrate salt precursors, and pure ethylene glycol has been demonstrated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)306-308
Number of pages3
JournalACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 4 2013


  • Complexing
  • Cu3BiS3
  • Energy storage and conversion
  • L-Cystine
  • Nanoparticles
  • Solvothermal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment

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