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Comparison of various GaSb-based device structures for application in thermophotovoltaic cells

Krystyna Golaszewska 1Tadeusz T. Piotrowski 1Jaroslaw Rutkowski 2Ewa Papis 1Renata Kruszka 1Elzbieta Dynowska 3Jacek Ratajczak 1Anna Piotrowska 1

1. Institute of Electron Technology (ITE), al. Lotników 32/46, Warszawa 02-668, Poland
2. Military University of Technology, Institute of Applied Physics, ul. Kaliskiego 2, Warszawa 00-908, Poland
3. Polish Academy of Sciences, Institute of Physics, al. Lotników 32/46, Warszawa 02-668, Poland


InGaAsSb compounds lattice-matched to GaSb substrate could potentially be used in a variety of optoelectronic devices operating in mid-infrared domain. Recently, thermophotovoltaic devices (TPV) based on InGaAsSb active layer attract increased attention. In this context, the optimisation of InGaAsSb/AlGaAsSb structures is of special concern.

The aim of this work is the optimisation of the designs to create the best structure for GaSb-based TPV cells, specifically with respect to comparison between p-n InGaAsSb homojunctions vs. p-n InGaAsSb/AlGaAsSb heterojunctions, and p-on-n vs. n-on-p cell configurations.

InGaAsSb/AlGaAsSb structures were grown by liquid phase epitaxy (LPE) technique in horizontal sliding boat system with Pd-diffused hydrogen atmosphere. The substrates for LPE growth were n- and p-type GaSb wafers, with the concentration of n ~ 4·1017 cm-3 and p ~ 5·1018 cm-3, respectively. 6N Ga, In, Sb and undoped GaAs were used as source materials and 6N Te as a dopant. The processes were performed at temperatures To ~ 530oC and To ~ 593oC, at the cooling rate R = 0.5oC/min. The post-growth characterisation included morphological and compositional analysis using AFM, TEM, EPXMA, and SIMS as well as transport measurement using van der Pauw and C-V methods.

The mesa-type devices with mesa size of 1mm´1mm were formed using photolithography and reactive ion etching in BCl3 plasma. AgTe/Cr/Au and Au/Zn/Au metallizations were applied for backside n-type and front p-type ohmic contacts, respectively. The photodiode performance was established by measurements of the current-voltage characteristics, quantum efficiency, and spectral responsivity at 300 K. The relative photoresponse spectra were measured with a transimpedance amplifier coupled to a Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectrometer.

The most promising results have been obtained with 3-layer n-GaSb/n-GaInAsSb/p-GaAlAsSb heterostructure grown on n-GaSb substrate, characterized by quantum efficiency η = 0,55 and responsivity RI = 0,85 A/W @ λ = 2,0 µm.

Part of the research was supported by the grant no. 3 T11B 00926 from the Ministry of Education and Science.


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Presentation: Poster at Joint Fith International Conference on Solid State Crystals & Eighth Polish Conference on Crystal Growth, by Krystyna Golaszewska
See On-line Journal of Joint Fith International Conference on Solid State Crystals & Eighth Polish Conference on Crystal Growth

Submitted: 2007-01-15 19:40
Revised:   2009-06-07 00:44