A Caltech Library Service

Direct evidence of Mg-Zn-P alloy formation in Mg/Zn_3P_2 solar cells

Kimball, Gregory M. and Lewis, Nathan S. and Atwater, Harry A. (2011) Direct evidence of Mg-Zn-P alloy formation in Mg/Zn_3P_2 solar cells. In: 37th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference. IEEE , Piscataway, NJ, pp. 3381-3384. ISBN 978-1-4244-9966-3.

Full text is not posted in this repository. Consult Related URLs below.

Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


Zinc phosphide (Zn_3P_2) is a promising and earth-abundant alternative to traditional materials (e.g. CdTe, CIGS, a-Si) for thin film photovoltaics. The record solar energy conversion efficiency for Zn_3P_2 cells of 6% (M. Bhushan et al., Appl. Phys. Lett., 1980) used a Mg/Zn_3P_2 device geometry that required annealing to reach peak performance. Here we report photovoltaic device results and junction composition profiles as a function of annealing treatment for ITO/Mg/Zn_3P_2 devices. Mild annealing at 100 °C in air dramatically increases V_(oc) values from ~150 mV to 550 mV, exceeding those of the record cell (V_(oc, record) = 490 mV). In devices with thinner Mg films we achieved J_(sc) values reaching 26 mA cm^(-2), significantly greater than those of the record cell (J_(sc, record) = 14.9 mA cm^(-2)). Junction profiling by secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) and x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) both show evidence of MgO and Mg-Zn-P alloy formation at the active photovoltaic junction in annealed ITO/Mg/Zn_3P_2 devices. These results indicate that high efficiency should be realizable by optimization of Mg treatment in Mg/Zn_3P_2 solar cells.

Item Type:Book Section
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Lewis, Nathan S.0000-0001-5245-0538
Atwater, Harry A.0000-0001-9435-0201
Alternate Title:Direct evidence of Mg-Zn-P alloy formation in Mg/Zn3P2 solar cells
Additional Information:© 2011 IEEE. We acknowledge Yunbin Guan and the Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences at Caltech for assistance collecting SIMS data. This work was supported by the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, US Department of Energy under grant DE-FG36-08GO18006, the Molecular Materials Research Center (MMRC) of the Beckman Institute at the California Institute of Technology, as well as a partnership with the Dow Chemical Company. One of us (GMK) acknowledges support under an NDSEG graduate fellowship.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Department of Energy (DOE)DE-FG36-08GO18006
Caltech Beckman InstituteUNSPECIFIED
Dow Chemical CompanyUNSPECIFIED
National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) FellowshipUNSPECIFIED
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20190308-090744484
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:G. M. Kimball, N. S. Lewis and H. A. Atwater, "Direct evidence of Mg-Zn-P alloy formation in Mg/Zn3P2solar cells," 2011 37th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, Seattle, WA, 2011, pp. 003381-003384. doi: 10.1109/PVSC.2011.6186672
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:93647
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:08 Mar 2019 18:47
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 16:59

Repository Staff Only: item control page