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Exploring the structures, stability, and light absorption properties of three thiostannates synthesised at similar conditions

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We present the synthesis, crystal structures and optical properties of three thiostannates prepared by using 1-(2-aminoethyl)piperazine (AEPz) as structure directing agent. Two of the thiostannates are layered materials (AEPz-SnS-1 and AEPz:EtOH-SnS-1) consisting of [Sn3S72−]n sheets with organic cations located in-between. The third compound is a molecular thiostannate (Sn2S6(AEPzH2)2) composed of dimeric Sn2S64− and AEPzH22+. In preparation of the layered compounds, the use of AEPz as the only solvent results in AEPz-SnS-1 with regular hexagonal pores and crystallographically disordered organic cations. In contrast, a mixture of AEPz and absolute ethanol gives AEPz:EtOH-SnS-1 with distorted hexagonal pores and ordered cations between the layers. The influence of cation order on the light absorption properties and the material thermal stability was investigated through thermal treatment of the layered compounds up to 200 °C. Both compounds show colour changes when heated, but cation order results in larger thermal stability. For AEPz-SnS-1, a decreased inter-layer distance and substantial loss of organic matter was observed when heated. However, pair distribution function analysis reveals that the local in-layer thiostannate structure of AEPz-SnS-1 remains unchanged. In contrast, AEPz:EtOH-SnS-1 does not undergo noticeable structural changes by the thermal treatment. All materials are optical semiconductors with band gaps of 3.0–3.1 eV.

Original languageEnglish
Article number22080
JournalScientific Reports
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021

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