skip to main content


Title: A review of defects and disorder in multinary tetrahedrally bonded semiconductors [Defects and disorder in multinary tetrahedrally bonded semiconductors studied by experiment and theory]

Defects are critical to understanding the electronic properties of semiconducting compounds, for applications such as light-emitting diodes, transistors, photovoltaics, and thermoelectrics. In this review, we describe our work investigating defects in tetrahedrally bonded, multinary semiconductors, and discuss the place of our research within the context of publications by other groups. We applied experimental and theory techniques to understand point defects, structural disorder, and extended antisite defects in one semiconductor of interest for photovoltaic applications, Cu 2SnS 3. We contrast our findings on Cu 2SnS 3 with other chemically related Cu-Sn-S compounds, as well as structurally related compounds such as Cu 2ZnSnS 4 and Cu(In,Ga)Se 2. We find that evaluation of point defects alone is not sufficient to understand defect behavior in multinary tetrahedrally bonded semiconductors. In the case of Cu 2SnS 3 and Cu 2ZnSnS 4, structural disorder and entropy-driven cation clustering can result in nanoscale compositional inhomogeneities which detrimentally impact the electronic transport. Therefore, it is not sufficient to assess only the point defect behavior of new multinary tetrahedrally bonded compounds; effects such as structural disorder and extended antisite defects must also be considered. Altogether, this review provides a framework for evaluating tetrahedrally bonded semiconducting compounds with respect tomore » their defect behavior for photovoltaic and other applications, and suggests new materials that may not be as prone to such imperfections.« less
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [2] ;  [1] ;  [2]
  1. National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States); Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO (United States)
  2. National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 0268-1242
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Semiconductor Science and Technology
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 31; Journal Issue: 12; Journal ID: ISSN 0268-1242
IOP Publishing
Research Org:
National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Solar Energy Technologies Office (EE-4S)
Country of Publication:
United States
14 SOLAR ENERGY; 71 CLASSICAL AND QUANTUM MECHANICS, GENERAL PHYSICS; thin film deposition; density functional theory; Earth abundant materials; next generation photovoltaics; compound semiconductors; point defects; cation site disorder
OSTI Identifier:
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1331714