Molecular-based synthetic approach to new group IV materials for high-efficiency, low-cost solar cells and si-based optoelectronics

Yan Yan Fang, Junqi Xie, John Tolle, Radek Roucka, Vijay R. D'Costa, Andrew Chizmeshya, Jose Menendez, John Kouvetakis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


Ge1-x-ySixSny alloys have emerged as a new class of highly versatile IR semiconductors offering the potential for independent variation of band structure and lattice dimension, making them the first practical group IV ternary system fully compatible with Si CMOS processing. In this paper we develop and apply new synthetic protocols based on designer molecular hydrides of Si, Ge, and Sn to demonstrate this concept from a synthesis perspective. Variation of the Si/Sn ratio in the ternary leads to an entirely new family of semiconductors exhibiting tunable direct band gaps (Eo) ranging from 0.8 to 1.2 eV at a fixed lattice constant identical to that of Ge, as required for the design of high-efficiency multijunction solar cells based on group IV/III-V hybrids. As a proof-of-concept demonstration, we fabricated lattice-matched Si(100)/Ge/SiGeSn/ InGaAs architectures on low-cost Si(100) substrates for the first time. These exhibit the required optical, structural, and thermal properties, thus representing a viable starting point en route to a complete four-junction photovoltaic device. In the context of Si-Ge-Sn optoelectronic applications, we show that Ge 1-x-ySixSny alloys serve as higher-gap barrier layers for the formation of light emitting structures based on Ge 1-ySny quantum wells grown on Si.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)16095-16102
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number47
StatePublished - Nov 26 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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