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Published May 2008 | Published
Book Section - Chapter Open

Synthesis and surface chemistry of Zn_3P_2


Zinc phosphide (Zn_3P_2) is a promising alternative to traditional materials (e.g. CIGS, CdTe, a-Si) for thin film photovoltaics. Open circuit voltage in Zn_3P_2 cells has been limited by Fermi-level pinning due to surfaces states and heterojunction interdiffusion, motivating the need to prepare interfaces that are electrically passive and chemically inert. We investigated the surface chemistry of Zn_3P_2 via etching with bromine in methanol and passivation with ammonium sulfide in t-butanol. The treatment decreases surface oxidation as determined by x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and provides a stable, low-defect interface as monitored by steady-state photoluminescence. Magnesium Schottky diodes fabricated with sulfur-passivated interfaces show evidence of enhanced barrier heights in comparison to control devices.

Additional Information

© 2008 IEEE. This work was supported by the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, US Department of Energy under grant DE-FG36-08G018006. One of us (GMK) acknowledges support under an NDSEG graduate fellowship. We also acknowledge use of facilities supported by the Center for Science and Engineering of Materials, an NSF MRSEC.

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