(704a) Nanoscale Heterojunction Engineering to Grow High-Quality Ge on Si for Multijunction Solar Cells

Authors: 
Leonhardt, D., University of New Mexico
Sheng, J., University of New Mexico
Vandervelde, T., Center for High Technology Materials
Cederberg, J., Sandia National Laboratories
Carroll, M., Sandia National Laboratories
Han, S. M., University of New Mexico


In an effort to reduce the manufacturing cost of multijunction solar cells, we have scaled up a process to grow low-defect-density Ge films on 2-inch-diameter Si substrates. This growth technique makes use of nanoscale heterojunction engineering to minimize the interfacial strain density. The engineered substrates may potentially replace the Ge wafers that are currently used in multijunction solar cell fabrication, if the Ge film's bulk and surface quality can match that of the epi-ready Ge wafers. We will present results for the scaled-up process of Ge film production, including key aspects of the nucleation process and film characterization, using transmission electron microscopy and etch pit counting. Next, we present our efforts to produce a high-quality surface finish, using chemical-mechanical planarization, and method for cleaning and passivating the Ge surface. Additionally, results of GaAs film growth on our engineered substrates will be presented and compared to growth on Ge and GaAs wafers, both offcut and nominal. We find that the offcut wafers effectively eliminate anti-phase domains in the GaAs. We also observe room-temperature photoluminescence from the GaAs epilayer grown on our engineered Ge/Si substrates. Lastly, future work and directions will be discussed in light of our findings.