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Title: Solar Energy Conversion Properties and Defect Physics of ZnSiP2

Implementation of an optically active material on silicon has been a persistent technological challenge. For tandem photovoltaics using a Si bottom cell, as well as for other optoelectronic applications, there has been a longstanding need for optically active, wide band gap materials that can be integrated with Si. ZnSiP2 is a stable, wide band gap (2.1 eV) material that is lattice matched with silicon and comprised of inexpensive elements. As we show in this paper, it is also a defect-tolerant material. Here, we report the first ZnSiP2 photovoltaic device. We show that ZnSiP2 has excellent photoresponse and high open circuit voltage of 1.3 V, as measured in a photoelectrochemical configuration. The high voltage and low band gap-voltage offset are on par with much more mature wide band gap III-V materials. Photoluminescence data combined with theoretical defect calculations illuminate the defect physics underlying this high voltage, showing that the intrinsic defects in ZnSiP2 are shallow and the minority carrier lifetime is 7 ns. These favorable results encourage the development of ZnSiP2 and related materials as photovoltaic absorber materials.
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Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 1754-5692
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Energy & Environmental Science; Journal Volume: 9; Journal Issue: 3; Related Information: Energy and Environmental Science
Royal Society of Chemistry
Research Org:
NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States))
Sponsoring Org:
NREL Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD)
Country of Publication:
United States
14 SOLAR ENERGY; 36 MATERIALS SCIENCE tandem photovoltaics; wide band gap materials; ZnSiP2