Band Edge Positions and Their Impact on the Simulated Device Performance of ZnSnN2-Based Solar Cells

Elisabetta Arca, Angela Fioretti, Stephan Lany, Adele C. Tamboli, Glenn Teeter, Celeste Melamed, Jie Pan, Kevin N. Wood, Eric Toberer, Andriy Zakutayev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus Citations


ZnSnN2 (ZTN) has been proposed as a new earth abundant absorber material for photovoltaic (PV) applications. While carrier concentration has been reduced to values suitable for device implementation, other properties such as ionization potential, electron affinity, and work function are not known. Here, we experimentally determine the value of ionization potential (5.6 eV), electron affinity (4.1 eV), and work function (4.4 eV) for ZTN thin film samples with Zn cation composition Zn/(Zn+Sn) = 0.56 and carrier concentration n = 2 × 1019 cm-3. Using both experimental and theoretical results, we build a model to simulate the device performance of a ZTN/Mg:CuCrO2 solar cell, showing a potential efficiency of 23% in the limit of no defects present.We also investigate the role of band tails and recombination centers on the cell performance. In particular, device simulations show that band tails are highly detrimental to the cell efficiency, and recombination centers are a major limitation if present in concentration comparable to the net carrier density. The effect of the position of the band edges of the p-type junction partner was assessed too. Through this study, we determine the major bottlenecks for the development of ZTN-based solar cell and identify avenues to mitigate them.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)110-117
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Journal of Photovoltaics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 IEEE.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5K00-70378


  • Diodes
  • Photovoltaic cells
  • Semiconductor device modeling
  • Vacuum levels measurements


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