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Published July 2015 | Published
Journal Article Open

Semiconducting ZnSn_xGe_(1−x)N_2 alloys prepared by reactive radio-frequency sputtering


We report on the fabrication and structural and optoelectronic characterization of II-IV-nitride ZnSn_x Ge(1−x)N_2 thin-films. Three-target reactive radio-frequency sputtering was used to synthesize non-degenerately doped semiconducting alloys having <10% atomic composition (x = 0.025) of tin. These low-Sn alloys followed the structural and optoelectronic trends of the alloy series. Samples exhibited semiconducting properties, including optical band gaps and increasing in resistivities with temperature. Resistivity vs. temperature measurements indicated that low-Sn alloys were non-degenerately doped, whereas alloys with higher Sn content were degenerately doped. These films show potential for ZnSn_x Ge_(1−x)N_2 as tunable semiconductor absorbers for possible use in photovoltaics, light-emitting diodes, or optical sensors.

Additional Information

© 2015 Author(s). All article content, except where otherwise noted, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. Received 1 June 2015; accepted 7 July 2015; published online 17 July 2015. The authors gratefully acknowledge support from the Dow Chemical Company under the earth-abundant semiconductor project. We also acknowledge the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis and the Molecular Materials Research Center of the Beckman Institute at Caltech for instrument access.

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