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Title: Growth, disorder, and physical properties of ZnSnN{sub 2}

Abstract

We examine ZnSnN{sub 2}, a member of the class of materials contemporarily termed “earth-abundant element semiconductors,” with an emphasis on evaluating its suitability for photovoltaic applications. It is predicted to crystallize in an orthorhombic lattice with an energy gap of 2 eV. Instead, using molecular beam epitaxy to deposit high-purity, single crystal as well as highly textured polycrystalline thin films, only a monoclinic structure is observed experimentally. Far from being detrimental, we demonstrate that the cation sublattice disorder which inhibits the orthorhombic lattice has a profound effect on the energy gap, obviating the need for alloying to match the solar spectrum.

Authors:
;  [1]; ; ; ;  [2]; ;  [3];  [4]; ; ; ;  [5];  [1];  [6]
  1. Department of Physics, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, New York 14260 (United States)
  2. Stephenson Institute for Renewable Energy and Department of Physics, University of Liverpool, Liverpool L69 7ZF (United Kingdom)
  3. Department of Physics, Florida A and M University, Tallahassee, Florida 32307 (United States)
  4. University College London, Kathleen Lonsdale Materials Chemistry, Department of Chemistry, 20 Gordon Street, London WC1H 0AJ (United Kingdom)
  5. Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109 (United States)
  6. (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22218305
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Applied Physics Letters; Journal Volume: 103; Journal Issue: 4; Other Information: (c) 2013 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; CATIONS; ENERGY GAP; EV RANGE; FOURIER TRANSFORMATION; IMPURITIES; INFRARED SPECTRA; MOLECULAR BEAM EPITAXY; MONOCLINIC LATTICES; MONOCRYSTALS; ORTHORHOMBIC LATTICES; PHOTOVOLTAIC EFFECT; PHYSICAL PROPERTIES; POLYCRYSTALS; SEMICONDUCTOR MATERIALS; THIN FILMS; ULTRAVIOLET SPECTRA; VISIBLE SPECTRA

Citation Formats

Feldberg, N., Aldous, J. D., Linhart, W. M., Phillips, L. J., Durose, K., Veal, T. D., Stampe, P. A., Kennedy, R. J., Scanlon, D. O., Vardar, G., Field, R. L. III, Jen, T. Y., Goldman, R. S., Durbin, S. M., and Department of Electrical Engineering, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, New York 14260. Growth, disorder, and physical properties of ZnSnN{sub 2}. United States: N. p., 2013. Web. doi:10.1063/1.4816438.
Feldberg, N., Aldous, J. D., Linhart, W. M., Phillips, L. J., Durose, K., Veal, T. D., Stampe, P. A., Kennedy, R. J., Scanlon, D. O., Vardar, G., Field, R. L. III, Jen, T. Y., Goldman, R. S., Durbin, S. M., & Department of Electrical Engineering, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, New York 14260. Growth, disorder, and physical properties of ZnSnN{sub 2}. United States. doi:10.1063/1.4816438.
Feldberg, N., Aldous, J. D., Linhart, W. M., Phillips, L. J., Durose, K., Veal, T. D., Stampe, P. A., Kennedy, R. J., Scanlon, D. O., Vardar, G., Field, R. L. III, Jen, T. Y., Goldman, R. S., Durbin, S. M., and Department of Electrical Engineering, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, New York 14260. Mon . "Growth, disorder, and physical properties of ZnSnN{sub 2}". United States. doi:10.1063/1.4816438.
@article{osti_22218305,
title = {Growth, disorder, and physical properties of ZnSnN{sub 2}},
author = {Feldberg, N. and Aldous, J. D. and Linhart, W. M. and Phillips, L. J. and Durose, K. and Veal, T. D. and Stampe, P. A. and Kennedy, R. J. and Scanlon, D. O. and Vardar, G. and Field, R. L. III and Jen, T. Y. and Goldman, R. S. and Durbin, S. M. and Department of Electrical Engineering, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, New York 14260},
abstractNote = {We examine ZnSnN{sub 2}, a member of the class of materials contemporarily termed “earth-abundant element semiconductors,” with an emphasis on evaluating its suitability for photovoltaic applications. It is predicted to crystallize in an orthorhombic lattice with an energy gap of 2 eV. Instead, using molecular beam epitaxy to deposit high-purity, single crystal as well as highly textured polycrystalline thin films, only a monoclinic structure is observed experimentally. Far from being detrimental, we demonstrate that the cation sublattice disorder which inhibits the orthorhombic lattice has a profound effect on the energy gap, obviating the need for alloying to match the solar spectrum.},
doi = {10.1063/1.4816438},
journal = {Applied Physics Letters},
number = 4,
volume = 103,
place = {United States},
year = {Mon Jul 22 00:00:00 EDT 2013},
month = {Mon Jul 22 00:00:00 EDT 2013}
}
  • Cited by 18
  • A series of ZnSnN2 films has been grown by plasma assisted molecular beam epitaxy in order to investigate the possibility of controlled cation sublattice disorder as well as its effects on physical and electronic properties of the material. By varying the growth conditions, specifically either the metal to nitrogen flux ratio or the substrate temperature, the authors have confirmed the existence of both the hexagonal and orthorhombic phases of the material via synchrotron x-ray diffraction and in situ reflection high energy electron diffraction measurements. Here, the authors report the results of an initial mapping and analysis of the growth parametermore » space, as part of continuing efforts to improve material quality.« less
  • ZnSnN{sub 2} is regarded as a promising photovoltaic absorber candidate due to earth-abundance, non-toxicity, and high absorption coefficient. However, it is still a great challenge to synthesize ZnSnN{sub 2} films with a low electron concentration, in order to promote the applications of ZnSnN{sub 2} as the core active layer in optoelectronic devices. In this work, polycrystalline and high resistance ZnSnN{sub 2} films were fabricated by magnetron sputtering technique, then semiconducting films were achieved after post-annealing, and finally Si/ZnSnN{sub 2} p-n junctions were constructed. The electron concentration and Hall mobility were enhanced from 2.77 × 10{sup 17} to 6.78 × 10{sup 17 }cm{sup −3} and frommore » 0.37 to 2.07 cm{sup 2} V{sup −1} s{sup −1}, corresponding to the annealing temperature from 200 to 350 °C. After annealing at 300 °C, the p-n junction exhibited the optimum rectifying characteristics, with a forward-to-reverse ratio over 10{sup 3}. The achievement of this ZnSnN{sub 2}-based p-n junction makes an opening step forward to realize the practical application of the ZnSnN{sub 2} material. In addition, the nonideal behaviors of the p-n junctions under both positive and negative voltages are discussed, in hope of suggesting some ideas to further improve the rectifying characteristics.« less
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