5 years ago

Design of Metastable Tin Titanium Nitride Semiconductor Alloys

Design of Metastable Tin Titanium Nitride Semiconductor Alloys
Stephan Lany, Andriy Zakutayev, John S. Mangum, Jing Gu, Aaron Holder, Sebastian Siol, Andre Bikowski, Brian Gorman, William Tumas
We report on design of optoelectronic properties in previously unreported metastable tin titanium nitride alloys with spinel crystal structure. Theoretical calculations predict that Ti alloying in metastable Sn3N4 compound should improve hole effective mass by up to 1 order of magnitude, while other optical bandgaps remains in the 1–2 eV range up to x ∼ 0.35 Ti composition. Experimental synthesis of these metastable alloys is predicted to be challenging due to high required nitrogen chemical potential (ΔμN ≥ +1.0 eV) but proven to be possible using combinatorial cosputtering from metal targets in the presence of nitrogen plasma. Characterization experiments confirm that thin films of such (Sn1–xTix)3N4 alloys can be synthesized up to x = 0.45 composition, with suitable optical band gaps (1.5–2.0 eV), moderate electron densities (1017 to 1018 cm–3), and improved photogenerated hole transport (by 5×). Overall, this study shows that it is possible to design the metastable nitride materials with properties suitable for potential use in solar energy conversion applications.

Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.chemmater.7b02122

DOI: 10.1021/acs.chemmater.7b02122

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