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Tantalum oxide electron-selective heterocontacts for silicon photovoltaics and photoelectrochemical water reduction

Wan, Yimao, Karuturi, Siva Krishna, Samundsett, Christian, Bullock, James, Hettick, Mark, Yan, Di, Peng, Jun, Narangari, Parvathala Reddy, Mokkapati, Sudha, Tan, Hark Hoe, Jagadish, Chennupati, Javey, Ali and Cuevas, Andres 2018. Tantalum oxide electron-selective heterocontacts for silicon photovoltaics and photoelectrochemical water reduction. ACS Energy Letters 3 (1) , pp. 125-131. 10.1021/acsenergylett.7b01153

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Crystalline silicon (c-Si) solar cells have been dominating the photovoltaic (PV) market for decades, and c-Si based photoelectrochemical (PEC) cells are regarded as one of the most promising routes for water splitting and renewable production of hydrogen. In this work, we demonstrate a nanoscale tantalum oxide (TaOx, ∼6 nm) as an electron-selective heterocontact, simultaneously providing high-quality passivation to the silicon surface and effective transport of electrons to either an external circuit or a water-splitting catalyst. The PV application of TaOx is demonstrated by a proof-of-concept device having a conversion efficiency of 19.1%. In addition, the PEC application is demonstrated by a photon-to-current efficiency (with additional applied bias) of 7.7%. These results represent a 2% and 3.8% absolute enhancement over control devices without a TaOx interlayer, respectively. The methods presented in this Letter are not limited to c-Si based devices and can be viewed as a more general approach to the interface engineering of optoelectronic and photoelectrochemical applications.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Physics and Astronomy
Subjects: Q Science > QC Physics
Publisher: American Chemical Society
ISSN: 2380-8195
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 24 January 2018
Date of Acceptance: 8 December 2017
Last Modified: 12 Mar 2020 22:37

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