Morphological and chemical study of the initial growth of CdS thin films deposited using an ammonia-free chemical process

D. A. Mazón-Montijo, M. Sotelo-Lerma, M. Quevedo-López, M. El-Bouanani, H. N. Alshareef, F. J. Espinoza-Beltrán, R. Ramírez-Bon*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


We study the initial growth stages of CdS thin films deposited by an ammonia-free chemical bath deposition process. This ammonia-free process is more environmentally benign because it reduces potential ammonia release to the environment due to its high volatility. Instead of ammonia, sodium citrate was used as the complexing agent. We used atomic force microscopy (AFM), Rutherford backscattering (RBS) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) to investigate the morphological and chemical modifications at the substrate surface during the first initial stages of the CdS deposition process. Additionally, X-ray diffraction (XRD) and optical transmission spectroscopy measurements were carried out to compliment the study. XPS results show that the first nucleation centers are composed by Cd(OH) 2 which agglomerate in patterns of bands, as demonstrated by AFM results. It is also observed that the conversion to CdS (by anionic exchange) of the first nucleus begins before the substrate surface is completely covered by a homogenous film.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)499-505
Number of pages7
JournalApplied Surface Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 15 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Atomic force microscopy
  • Cadmium sulfide
  • Semi-conducting films
  • Thin film structures
  • X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Surfaces and Interfaces


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