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Title: Final Report: Vapor Transport Deposition for Thin Film III-V Photovoltaics

Abstract

Silicon, the dominant photovoltaic (PV) technology, is reaching its fundamental performance limits as a single absorber/junction technology. Higher efficiency devices are needed to reduce cost further because the balance of systems account for about two-thirds of the overall cost of the solar electricity. III-V semiconductors such as GaAs are used to make the highest-efficiency photovoltaic devices, but the costs of manufacture are much too high for non-concentrated terrestrial applications. The cost of III-V’s is driven by two factors: (1) metal-organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD), the dominant growth technology, employs expensive, toxic and pyrophoric gas-phase precursors, and (2) the growth substrates conventionally required for high-performance devices are monocrystalline III-V wafers. The primary goal of this project was to show that close-spaced vapor transport (CSVT), using water vapor as a transport agent, is a scalable deposition technology for growing low-cost epitaxial III-V photovoltaic devices. The secondary goal was to integrate those devices on Si substrates for high-efficiency tandem applications using interface nanopatterning to address the lattice mismatch. In the first task, we developed a CSVT process that used only safe solid-source powder precursors to grow epitaxial GaAs with controlled n and p doping and mobilities/lifetimes similar to that obtainable via MOCVD. Usingmore » photoelectrochemical characterization, we showed that the best material had near unity internal quantum efficiency for carrier collection and minority carrier diffusions lengths in of ~ 8 μm, suitable for PV devices with >25% efficiency. In the second task we developed the first pn junction photovoltaics using CSVT and showed unpassivated structures with open circuit photovoltages > 915 mV and internal quantum efficiencies >0.9. We also characterized morphological and electrical defects and identified routes to reduce those defects. In task three we grew epitaxial ternary GaAsxP 1-x and In 0.5Ga 0.5P alloys, with composition set by the ratio of GaAs/GaP or InP/GaP mixed as the source powder. GaAs 0.3P 0.7 has the appropriate bandgap to serve as a top cell on Si and In 0.5Ga 0.5P is near the composition used as a surface passivation layer on GaAs pn junction photovoltaics. In the final task we demonstrated III-V selective area epitaxy using CSVT as a first step toward the growth of III-V micro- or nanostructures for an integrated tandem solar cell on Si. We also found that direct epitaxial growth on Si appears to be impossible in the current H 2O-CSVT reactor design, likely due to the formation of SiO x. This work sets the stage for targeted development of an improved CSVT process and for the scale up of the proof-of-concept work from a research to manufacturing-relevant platform. Replacing H 2O as a transport agent with HCl would provide the ability to deposit directly on Si by avoiding oxide formation and to allow for the deposition of Al-containing alloys that would otherwise oxidize. Improved engineering design and implementation of an in-line multi-station CSVT would allow for direct deposition of device structures in a single system.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [1];  [2]
  1. Univ. of Oregon, Eugene, OR (United States)
  2. Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Univ. of Oregon, Eugene, OR (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Solar Energy Technologies Office (EE-4S)
OSTI Identifier:
1237455
DOE Contract Number:  
EE0005957
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
14 SOLAR ENERGY; low cost III-V; GaAs; solid state photovoltaic; epitaxy

Citation Formats

Boettcher, Shannon, Greenaway, Ann, Boucher, Jason, and Aloni, Shaul. Final Report: Vapor Transport Deposition for Thin Film III-V Photovoltaics. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.2172/1237455.
Boettcher, Shannon, Greenaway, Ann, Boucher, Jason, & Aloni, Shaul. Final Report: Vapor Transport Deposition for Thin Film III-V Photovoltaics. United States. doi:10.2172/1237455.
Boettcher, Shannon, Greenaway, Ann, Boucher, Jason, and Aloni, Shaul. Wed . "Final Report: Vapor Transport Deposition for Thin Film III-V Photovoltaics". United States. doi:10.2172/1237455. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1237455.
@article{osti_1237455,
title = {Final Report: Vapor Transport Deposition for Thin Film III-V Photovoltaics},
author = {Boettcher, Shannon and Greenaway, Ann and Boucher, Jason and Aloni, Shaul},
abstractNote = {Silicon, the dominant photovoltaic (PV) technology, is reaching its fundamental performance limits as a single absorber/junction technology. Higher efficiency devices are needed to reduce cost further because the balance of systems account for about two-thirds of the overall cost of the solar electricity. III-V semiconductors such as GaAs are used to make the highest-efficiency photovoltaic devices, but the costs of manufacture are much too high for non-concentrated terrestrial applications. The cost of III-V’s is driven by two factors: (1) metal-organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD), the dominant growth technology, employs expensive, toxic and pyrophoric gas-phase precursors, and (2) the growth substrates conventionally required for high-performance devices are monocrystalline III-V wafers. The primary goal of this project was to show that close-spaced vapor transport (CSVT), using water vapor as a transport agent, is a scalable deposition technology for growing low-cost epitaxial III-V photovoltaic devices. The secondary goal was to integrate those devices on Si substrates for high-efficiency tandem applications using interface nanopatterning to address the lattice mismatch. In the first task, we developed a CSVT process that used only safe solid-source powder precursors to grow epitaxial GaAs with controlled n and p doping and mobilities/lifetimes similar to that obtainable via MOCVD. Using photoelectrochemical characterization, we showed that the best material had near unity internal quantum efficiency for carrier collection and minority carrier diffusions lengths in of ~ 8 μm, suitable for PV devices with >25% efficiency. In the second task we developed the first pn junction photovoltaics using CSVT and showed unpassivated structures with open circuit photovoltages > 915 mV and internal quantum efficiencies >0.9. We also characterized morphological and electrical defects and identified routes to reduce those defects. In task three we grew epitaxial ternary GaAsxP1-x and In0.5Ga0.5P alloys, with composition set by the ratio of GaAs/GaP or InP/GaP mixed as the source powder. GaAs0.3P0.7 has the appropriate bandgap to serve as a top cell on Si and In0.5Ga0.5P is near the composition used as a surface passivation layer on GaAs pn junction photovoltaics. In the final task we demonstrated III-V selective area epitaxy using CSVT as a first step toward the growth of III-V micro- or nanostructures for an integrated tandem solar cell on Si. We also found that direct epitaxial growth on Si appears to be impossible in the current H2O-CSVT reactor design, likely due to the formation of SiOx. This work sets the stage for targeted development of an improved CSVT process and for the scale up of the proof-of-concept work from a research to manufacturing-relevant platform. Replacing H2O as a transport agent with HCl would provide the ability to deposit directly on Si by avoiding oxide formation and to allow for the deposition of Al-containing alloys that would otherwise oxidize. Improved engineering design and implementation of an in-line multi-station CSVT would allow for direct deposition of device structures in a single system.},
doi = {10.2172/1237455},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2016},
month = {2}
}