Band alignment of epitaxial ZnS/Zn3P2 heterojunctions

Jeffrey P. Bosco, Steven B. Demers, Gregory M. Kimball, Nathan S. Lewis, Harry A. Atwater

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28 Citations (Scopus)


The energy-band alignment of epitaxial zb-ZnS(001)/α-Zn 3P2(001) heterojunctions has been determined by measurement of shifts in the phosphorus 2p and sulfur 2p core-level binding energies for various thicknesses (0.6-2.2 nm) of ZnS grown by molecular beam epitaxy on Zn3P2. In addition, the position of the valence-band maximum for bulk ZnS and Zn3P2 films was estimated using density functional theory calculations of the valence-band density-of-states. The heterojunction was observed to be type I, with a valence-band offset, ΔEV, of -1.19 ± 0.07 eV, which is significantly different from the type II alignment based on electron affinities that is predicted by Anderson theory. n+-ZnS/p-Zn3P 2 heterojunctions demonstrated open-circuit voltages of >750 mV, indicating passivation of the Zn3P2 surface due to the introduction of the ZnS overlayer. Carrier transport across the heterojunction devices was inhibited by the large conduction-band offset, which resulted in short-circuit current densities of 0.1 mA cm-2 under 1 Sun simulated illumination. Hence, constraints on the current density will likely limit the direct application of the ZnS/Zn3P2 heterojunction to photovoltaics, whereas metal-insulator-semiconductor structures that utilize an intrinsic ZnS insulating layer appear promising.

Original languageEnglish
Article number093703
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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