A method of producing semiconductor materials and devices that incorporate the semiconductor materials are provided. In particular, a method is provided of producing a semiconductor material, such as a III-V semiconductor, on a silicon substrate using a compliant buffer layer, and devices such as photovoltaic cells that incorporate the semiconductor materials. The compliant buffer material and semiconductor materials may be deposited using coincident site lattice-matching epitaxy, resulting in a close degree of lattice matching between the substrate material and deposited material for a wide variety of material compositions. The coincident site lattice matching epitaxial process, as well as the use of a ductile buffer material, reduce the internal stresses and associated crystal defects within the deposited semiconductor materials fabricated using the disclosed method. As a result, the semiconductor devices provided herein possess enhanced performance characteristics due to a relatively low density of crystal defects.
The United States Government has rights in this invention under Contract No. DE-AC36-08GO28308 between the United States Department of Energy and the Alliance for Sustainable Energy, LLC, the Manager and Operator of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.