Operation of lightly doped Si microwires under high-level injection conditions

Elizabeth A. Santori, Nicholas C. Strandwitz, Ronald L. Grimm, Bruce S. Brunschwig, Harry A. Atwater, Nathan S Lewis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The operation of lightly doped Si microwire arrays under high-level injection conditions was investigated by measurement of the current-potential behavior and carrier-collection efficiency of the wires in contact with non-aqueous electrolytes, and through complementary device physics simulations. The current-potential behavior of the lightly doped Si wire array photoelectrodes was dictated by both the radial contact and the carrier-selective back contact. For example, the Si microwire arrays exhibited n-type behavior when grown on a n+-doped substrate and placed in contact with the 1,1′-dimethylferrocene+/0-CH3OH redox system. The microwire arrays exhibited p-type behavior when grown on a p+-doped substrate and measured in contact with a redox system with a sufficiently negative Nernstian potential. The wire array photoelectrodes exhibited internal quantum yields of ∼0.8, deviating from unity for these radial devices. Device physics simulations of lightly doped n-Si wires in radial contact with the 1,1′-dimethylferrocene+/0-CH3OH redox system showed that the carrier-collection efficiency should be a strong function of the wire diameter and the carrier lifetime within the wire. Small diameter (d <200 nm) wires exhibited low quantum yields for carrier collection, due to the strong inversion of the wires throughout the wire volume. In contrast, larger diameter wires (d > 400 nm) exhibited higher carrier collection efficiencies that were strongly dependent on the carrier lifetime in the wire, and wires with carrier lifetimes exceeding 5 μs were predicted to have near-unity quantum yields. The simulations and experimental measurements collectively indicated that the Si microwires possessed carrier lifetimes greater than 1 μs, and showed that radial structures with micron dimensions and high material quality can result in excellent device performance with lightly doped, structured semiconductors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2329-2338
Number of pages10
JournalEnergy and Environmental Science
Volume7
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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Wire
Carrier lifetime
physics
simulation
Quantum yield
substrate
Physics
electrolyte
Substrates
Electrolytes
Semiconductor materials
Oxidation-Reduction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Pollution
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering

Cite this

Santori, E. A., Strandwitz, N. C., Grimm, R. L., Brunschwig, B. S., Atwater, H. A., & Lewis, N. S. (2014). Operation of lightly doped Si microwires under high-level injection conditions. Energy and Environmental Science, 7(7), 2329-2338. https://doi.org/10.1039/c4ee00202d

Operation of lightly doped Si microwires under high-level injection conditions. / Santori, Elizabeth A.; Strandwitz, Nicholas C.; Grimm, Ronald L.; Brunschwig, Bruce S.; Atwater, Harry A.; Lewis, Nathan S.

In: Energy and Environmental Science, Vol. 7, No. 7, 2014, p. 2329-2338.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Santori, EA, Strandwitz, NC, Grimm, RL, Brunschwig, BS, Atwater, HA & Lewis, NS 2014, 'Operation of lightly doped Si microwires under high-level injection conditions', Energy and Environmental Science, vol. 7, no. 7, pp. 2329-2338. https://doi.org/10.1039/c4ee00202d
Santori, Elizabeth A. ; Strandwitz, Nicholas C. ; Grimm, Ronald L. ; Brunschwig, Bruce S. ; Atwater, Harry A. ; Lewis, Nathan S. / Operation of lightly doped Si microwires under high-level injection conditions. In: Energy and Environmental Science. 2014 ; Vol. 7, No. 7. pp. 2329-2338.
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