Solar Energy Conversion Properties and Defect Physics of ZnSiP2

Emily Warren, Darius Kuciauskas, Patricia Dippo, Andrew Norman, Vladan Stevanovic, Eric Toberer, Adele Tamboli, Aaron Martinez, Prashun Gorai, Kasper Borup, Brenden Ortiz, Robin Macaluso, Sau Nguyen, Ann Greenaway, Shannon Boettcher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus Citations


Implementation of an optically active material on silicon has been a persistent technological challenge. For tandem photovoltaics using a Si bottom cell, as well as for other optoelectronic applications, there has been a longstanding need for optically active, wide band gap materials that can be integrated with Si. ZnSiP2 is a stable, wide band gap (2.1 eV) material that is lattice matched with silicon and comprised of inexpensive elements. As we show in this paper, it is also a defect-tolerant material. Here, we report the first ZnSiP2 photovoltaic device. We show that ZnSiP2 has excellent photoresponse and high open circuit voltage of 1.3 V, as measured in a photoelectrochemical configuration. The high voltage and low band gap-voltage offset are on par with much more mature wide band gap III-V materials. Photoluminescence data combined with theoretical defect calculations illuminate the defect physics underlying this high voltage, showing that the intrinsic defects in ZnSiP2 are shallow and the minority carrier lifetime is 7 ns. These favorable results encourage the development of ZnSiP2 and related materials as photovoltaic absorber materials.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1031-1041
Number of pages11
JournalEnergy and Environmental Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Royal Society of Chemistry 2016.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5J00-66212


  • tandem photovoltaics
  • wide band gap materials
  • ZnSiP2


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