Scalable Ultrafast Epitaxy of Large-Grain and Single-Crystal II-VI Semiconductors

Eric Colegrove, David Albin, Helio Moutinho, Mahisha Amarasinghe, Wyatt Metzger, James Burst

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus Citations


A general problem for semiconductor applications is that very slow deposition on expensive single-crystal substrates yields high crystalline quality with excellent electro-optical properties, but at prohibitive costs and throughput for many applications. In contrast, rapid deposition on inexpensive substrates or nanocrystalline films yields low costs, but comparatively inferior crystallinity, carrier transport, and recombination. Here, we present methods to deposit single-crystal material at rates 2–3 orders of magnitude faster than state-of-the-art epitaxy with low-cost methods without compromising crystalline or electro-optical quality. For example, single-crystal CdTe and CdZnTe films that would take several days to grow by molecular-beam epitaxy are deposited in 8 minutes by close-spaced sublimation, yet retain the same crystalline quality measured by X-ray diffraction rocking curves. The fast deposition is coupled with effective n- and p-type in-situ doping by In, P, and As. The epitaxy can be extended to nanocrystalline substrates. For example, we recrystallize thin CdTe films on glass to deposit large grains with low defect density. The results provide new research paths for photovoltaics, detectors, infrared imaging, flexible electronics, and other applications.

Original languageAmerican English
Article numberArticle No. 2426
Number of pages8
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, The Author(s).

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5K00-72302


  • CdTe
  • crystal growth
  • epitaxy
  • photovoltaics


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