Abstract The pentenary system, Cu2ZnSn(SxSe1−x)4 (CZTSSe), is a promising alternative for thin film solar cells. In this study, CZTSSe thin films were prepared using a two-stage process involving the thermal diffusion of sulfur (S) and selenium (Se) vapors into sputtered metallic precursors at approximately 450 °C. The effects of the sulfur content on the composition, structure, optical and electrical characteristics of the CZTSSe thin films were investigated. The films showed a kesterite structure with a predominant (112) orientation. X-ray diffraction and Raman spectroscopy confirmed the formation of a single phase CZTSSe compound. The band gap was dependent on the sulfur content and was calculated to be 1.25 eV, 1.33 eV and 1.40 eV for CZTSSe films with a S/(S + Se) ratio of 0.3, 0.5 and 0.7, respectively. All films exhibited p-type semiconductor properties.