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Title: Cobalt (II) oxide and nickel (II) oxide alloys as potential intermediate-band semiconductors: A theoretical study

Solar cells based on single pn junctions, employing single-gap semiconductors can ideally achieve efficiencies as high as 34%. Developing solar cells based on intermediate-band semiconductors (IBSCs), which can absorb light across multiple band gaps, is a possible way to defy this theoretical limit and achieve efficiencies as high as 60%. Here, we use first principles quantum mechanics methods and introduce CoO and Co{sub 0.25}Ni{sub 0.75}O as possible IBSCs. We show that the conduction band in both of these materials is divided into two distinct bands separated by a band gap. We further show that the lower conduction band (i.e., the intermediate band) is wider in Co{sub 0.25}Ni{sub 0.75}O compared with CoO. This should enhance light absorption from the valence band edge to the intermediate band, making Co{sub 0.25}Ni{sub 0.75}O more appropriate for use as an IBSC. Our findings provide the basis for future attempts to partially populate the intermediate band and to reduce the lower band gap in Co{sub 0.25}Ni{sub 0.75}O in order to enhance the potential of this material for use in IBSC solar cell technologies. Furthermore, with proper identification of heterojunctions and dopants, CoO and Co{sub 0.25}Ni{sub 0.75}O could be used in multi-color light emitting diode and lasermore » technologies.« less
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3]
  1. Department of Electrical Engineering, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey 08544-5263 (United States)
  2. Department of Chemistry, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey 08544-1009 (United States)
  3. Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Program in Applied and Computational Mathematics, and Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey 08544-5263 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22494903
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of Applied Physics; Journal Volume: 119; Journal Issue: 2; Other Information: (c) 2016 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
71 CLASSICAL AND QUANTUM MECHANICS, GENERAL PHYSICS; ABSORPTION; ALLOYS; COBALT OXIDES; DOPED MATERIALS; EFFICIENCY; HETEROJUNCTIONS; LIGHT EMITTING DIODES; NICKEL OXIDES; SEMICONDUCTOR MATERIALS; SOLAR CELLS; VISIBLE RADIATION