Design of Nitride Semiconductors for Solar Energy Conversion

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Nitride semiconductors are a promising class of materials for solar energy conversion applications, such as photovoltaic and photoelectrochemical cells. Nitrides can have better solar absorption and electrical transport properties than the more widely studied oxides, as well as the potential for better scalability than other pnictides or chalcogenides. In addition, nitrides are also relatively unexplored compared to other chemistries, so they provide a great opportunity for new materials discovery. This paper reviews the recent advances in the design of novel semiconducting nitrides for solar energy conversion technologies. Both binary and multinary nitrides are discussed, with a range of metal chemistries (Cu3N, ZnSnN2, Sn3N4, etc.) and crystal structures (delafossite, perovskite, spinel, etc.), including a brief overview of wurtzite III-N materials and devices. The current scientific challenges and promising future directions in the field are also highlighted.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)6742-6754
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Materials Chemistry A
Issue number18
StatePublished - 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5K00-65584


  • binary nitrides
  • multinary nitrides
  • semiconducting nitrides
  • solar energy conversion


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