CIS based chalcopyrite absorber materials are usually substituted in the cation and anion lattice to yield mixed pentanary crystals with the general composition Cu(In,Ga)(Se,S)2 to achieve an optimised adaptation of the semiconductor bandgap to the terrestrial solar spectrum. Real-time investigations during the annealing of stacked elemental layers (SEL) of sputtered metals Cu and In and evaporated chalcogens S and Se with varying ratios were performed by angle-dispersive time-resolved XRD (X-ray diffraction) measurements. After qualitative phase analysis the measured powder diagrams were quantitatively analysed by the Rietveld method, the phases formed determined and their reaction kinetics obtained. Ternary indium and copper sulfoselenides form by the sulfoselenisation of the intermetallic alloy yielding different educts for the chalcopyrite formation with varying sulfur content. For S/(S+Se) ≥ 0.5 the formation of the chalcopyrite CuIn(S,Se)2 is similar to the crystallisation path of CuInS2. With increasing amount of selenium (S/(S+Se) = 0.25) different ternary sulfoselenides contribute to the semiconductor formation. For small amounts of sulfur, i.e. S/(S+Se) ≤ 0.1, the chalcopyrite crystallisation proceeds comparable to the one observed for sulfur-free Cu-In-Se precursors. The formation of CuIn(S,Se)2 is accelerated and proceeds mainly after the peritectic decomposition of Cu(S,Se) to Cu2(S,Se). The sulfur content determines the crystallisation temperature of the semiconductor because Cu(S,Se) decomposes at higher temperatures with increasing sulfur. Upon heating S ↔ Se exchange reactions take place in the Cu-S-Se and Cu-In-S-Se system.
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