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Towards defect-free thin films of the earth-abundant absorber zinc phosphide by nanopatterning

Escobar Steinvall, Simon, Stutz, Elias Z., Paul, Rajrupa, Zamani, Mahdi, Dzade, Nelson Y., Piazza, Valerio, Friedl, Martin, de Mestral, Virginie, Leran, Jean-Baptiste, Zamani, Reza R. and Fontcuberta i Morral, Anna 2021. Towards defect-free thin films of the earth-abundant absorber zinc phosphide by nanopatterning. Nanoscale Advances 3 , pp. 326-332. 10.1039/D0NA00841A

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Large-scale deployment of thin-film photovoltaics will be facilitated through earth-abundant components. Herein, selective area epitaxy and lateral overgrowth epitaxy are explored for the growth of zinc phosphide (Zn3P2), a promising earth-abundant absorber. The ideal growth conditions are elucidated, and the nucleation of single-crystal nanopyramids that subsequently evolve towards coalesced thin-films is demonstrated. The zinc phosphide pyramids exhibit room temperature bandgap luminescence at 1.53 eV, indicating a high-quality material. The electrical properties of zinc phosphide and the junction with the substrate are assessed by conductive atomic force microscopy on n-type, p-type and intrinsic substrates. The measurements are consistent with the p-type characteristic of zinc phosphide. Overall, this constitutes a new, and transferrable, approach for the controlled and tunable growth of high-quality zinc phosphide, a step forward in the quest for earth-abundant photovoltaics.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Chemistry
Additional Information: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported Licence
Publisher: Royal Society of Chemistry
ISSN: 2516-0230
Funders: EPSRC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 3 December 2020
Date of Acceptance: 15 November 2020
Last Modified: 22 Feb 2021 15:00

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