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Hetero-junction photovoltaic device and method of fabricating the device

United States Patent

8,647,915
February 11, 2014
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Oak Ridge National Laboratory - Visit the Partnerships Directorate Website
A hetero-junction device and fabrication method in which phase-separated n-type and p-type semiconductor pillars define vertically-oriented p-n junctions extending above a substrate. Semiconductor materials are selected for the p-type and n-type pillars that are thermodynamically stable and substantially insoluble in one another. An epitaxial deposition process is employed to form the pillars on a nucleation layer and the mutual insolubility drives phase separation of the materials. During the epitaxial deposition process, the orientation is such that the nucleation layer initiates propagation of vertical columns resulting in a substantially ordered, three-dimensional structure throughout the deposited material. An oxidation state of at least a portion of one of the p-type or the n-type semiconductor materials is altered relative to the other, such that the band-gap energy of the semiconductor materials differ with respect to stoichiometric compositions and the device preferentially absorbs particular selected bands of radiation.
Aytug; Tolga (Knoxville, TN), Christen; David K. (Oak Ridge, TN), Paranthaman; Mariappan Parans (Knoxville, TN), Polat; Ozgur (Knoxville, TN)
UT-Battelle, LLC (Oak Ridge, TN), University of Tennessee Research Foundation (Knoxville, TN)
12/ 974,425
December 21, 2010
This invention was made with government support under Contract No. DE-ACO5-000R22725 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The government has certain rights in the invention.