Development of ZnSiP2 for Si-Based Tandem Solar Cells

Aaron D. Martinez, Brenden R. Ortiz, Nicole E. Johnson, Lauryn L. Baranowski, Lakshmi Krishna, Sukgeun Choi, Patricia C. Dippo, Bobby To, Andrew G. Norman, Paul Stradins, Vladan Stevanovic, Eric S. Toberer, Adele C. Tamboli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus Citations


A major technological challenge in photovoltaics is the implementation of a lattice matched optically efficient material to be used in conjunction with silicon for tandem photovoltaics. Detailed balance calculations predict an increase in efficiency of up to 12 percentage points for a tandem cell compared with single-junction silicon. Given that the III-V materials currently hold world record efficiencies, both for single and multijunction cells, it would be transformative to develop a material that has similar properties to the III-V's which is also lattice matched to silicon. The II-IV-V2 chalcopyrites are a promising class of materials that could satisfy these criteria. ZnSiP2 in particular is known to have a bandgap of ∼2 eV, a lattice mismatch with silicon of 0.5%, and is earth abundant. Its direct bandgap is symmetry-forbidden. We have grown single crystals of ZnSiP2 by a flux growth technique. Structure and phase purity have been confirmed by X-ray diffraction and transmission electron microscopy. Optical measurements, along with a calculation of the absorption spectrum, confirm the ∼ 2 eV bandgap. Because of its structural similarity to both crystalline silicon and the III-V's, ZnSiP2 is expected to have good optoelectronic performance.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number6951349
Pages (from-to)17-21
Number of pages5
JournalIEEE Journal of Photovoltaics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2011-2012 IEEE.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5J00-61203


  • Density functional theory (DFT)
  • photovoltaic cells
  • silicon
  • tandem photovoltaics
  • ZnSiP2


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