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The impact of piezoelectric polarization and nonradiative recombination on the performance of (0001) face GaN/InGaN photovoltaic devices

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3 Author(s)
Wierer, J.J. ; Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87185, USA ; Fischer, A.J. ; Koleske, D.D.

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The impact of piezoelectric polarization and nonradiative recombination on the short-circuit current densities (Jsc) of (0001) face GaN/InGaN photovoltaic devices is demonstrated. P-i-n diodes consisting of 170 nm thick intrinsic In0.09Ga0.91N layers sandwiched by GaN layers exhibit low Jsc∼40 μA/cm2. The piezoelectric polarization at the GaN/InGaN heterointerfaces creates drift currents opposite in direction needed for efficient carrier collection. Also, nonradiative recombination centers produce short carrier lifetimes, limiting Jsc. Alternative structures with intrinsic InGaN layers sandwiched by n-type InGaN or graded InyGa1-yN (y=0–0.09) layer and a p-type In0.015Ga0.985N layer have favorable potentials, longer carrier lifetimes, and improve Jsc to ∼0.40 mA/cm2.

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Applied Physics Letters  (Volume:96 ,  Issue: 5 )