Abstract This investigation reports the synthesis of CuInS2 nanostructures by using [Cu(gly)2] via a microwave-assisted method. CuInS2 nanostructures were obtained from a mixture of InCl3, [Cu(gly)2] and different sulfur sources in propylene glycol. In this work, the effect of different sulfur sources on the morphology of CuInS2 nanostructures was studied. CuInS2 nanostructures were characterized by XRD, SEM, TEM, EDS, and FT-IR. To fabricate a standard solar cell, CdS film was directly deposited on top of the CIS film prepared by Doctor's blade method through chemical bath deposition. The as-deposited CdS/CuInS2 film was used for the photovoltaic measurements.