Remote Epitaxy of III-V Solar Cells via Hydride Vapor Phase Epitaxy

Dennice Roberts, Hyunseok Kim, Elisabeth McClure, Anna Braun, Kevin Schulte, Aaron Ptak, Jeehwan Kim, John Simon

Research output: NRELPresentation


The promise of remote epitaxy, in which epitaxial registry of a film can still be maintained through two-dimensional layers, has emerged from an advanced understanding of the interactions between two dimensional materials and bulk semiconductors. A promising application of this technology is to facilitate substrate reuse in epitaxial III-V systems, which could significantly reduce material cost and improve commercial viability of this high-efficiency photovoltaic technology. In this process the weak van der Waal bonds between the 2D layer and the III-V substrate make separation of epitaxially-grown layers simple and leaves a smooth substrate that can be reused for cost reduction. Here we present a study of growth parameters of GaAs on AlGaAs through a low dimensional carbon interlayer via hydride vapor phase epitaxy (HVPE). We Investigate the effect of various GaAs nucleation conditions such as V/III ratio, temperature and growth rate on film roughness, crystallinity, and degree of epitaxial alignment. We demonstrate growth of single crystal GaAs layer on top of the low dimensional carbon that follow the crystal orientation of the substrate. Surface roughness measured via AFM found that lower V/III ratios result in smoother III-V films grown on the low dimensional carbon, with a lowest RMS of ~60 nm obtained at a V/III ratio of 5. Growth temperatures are optimized at 650 C, as temperatures below 550 C show non-crystalline growth and higher temperature samples display very rough surfaces. Additionally, we investigate HVPE growth on various forms of low-dimensional carbon including transferred graphene, CVD-grown graphene, and MOCVD-growth amorphous carbon and find the latter to be most well suited for III-V growth as this method results in cleaner interface and potential for direct, large-area coverage. We also identify techniques to mitigate surface degradation in carbon layers as a function of both exposure time and growth environment by analyzing surface changes via x-ray reflectivity. We show growth of heteroepitaxial III-V solar cells on carbon interlayers and preliminary cell results, which are currently limited to 4% efficiency under one sun.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages16
StatePublished - 2021

Publication series

NamePresented at the Materials Research Society (MRS) Fall Meeting and Exhibit, 6-8 December 2021

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/PR-5K00-81669


  • AlGaAs
  • CVD-grown graphene
  • GaAs
  • HVPE
  • hydride vapor phase epitaxy
  • III-V
  • MOCVD-growth amorphous carbon
  • photovoltaic
  • PV


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