Nonlinear Band Gap Tunability in Selenium-Tellurium Alloys and Its Utilization in Solar Cells

Ido Hadar, Xiaobing Hu, Zhong Zhen Luo, Vinayak P. Dravid, Mercouri G Kanatzidis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

In this Letter, we report the alloying of the high-band-gap photovoltaic elemental absorber selenium with the isomorphic low-band-gap semiconductor tellurium to tune the band gap energy of Se1-xTex to the optimal value for photovoltaic absorber. Photovoltaic devices based on crystalline Se1-xTex alloys are promising candidates for extremely cheap and highly scalable solar cells, offering simple low-temperature fabrication and intrinsic stability. We explore the electro-optical properties of Se1-xTex alloys and show that the tellurium red shifts the band gap in a nonlinear manner, faster than expected, due to significantly nonlinear change of the conduction band energy, allowing them to easily reach the desired band gap of 1.2-1.4 eV. On the basis of these results, we rationally design and demonstrate the fabrication of simple Se1-xTex photovoltaic devices, showing significantly improved current density in comparison to pure selenium. Furthermore, we identify and analyze the main factors limiting the device efficiency and suggest a few approaches for future improvements of such photovoltaic devices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2137-2143
Number of pages7
JournalACS Energy Letters
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2019

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Tellurium
Selenium
Solar cells
Energy gap
Fabrication
Conduction bands
Alloying
Current density
Optical properties
Semiconductor materials
Crystalline materials

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Materials Chemistry

Cite this

Nonlinear Band Gap Tunability in Selenium-Tellurium Alloys and Its Utilization in Solar Cells. / Hadar, Ido; Hu, Xiaobing; Luo, Zhong Zhen; Dravid, Vinayak P.; Kanatzidis, Mercouri G.

In: ACS Energy Letters, 01.01.2019, p. 2137-2143.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Hadar, Ido ; Hu, Xiaobing ; Luo, Zhong Zhen ; Dravid, Vinayak P. ; Kanatzidis, Mercouri G. / Nonlinear Band Gap Tunability in Selenium-Tellurium Alloys and Its Utilization in Solar Cells. In: ACS Energy Letters. 2019 ; pp. 2137-2143.
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