Ferroelectric BTO on Si (001) for High-Efficiency Solar Cell Heterostructures | AIChE

Ferroelectric BTO on Si (001) for High-Efficiency Solar Cell Heterostructures


Kaeli, E. - Presenter, Northeastern University

Ferroelectric oxides such as barium titanate (BTO) have recently become a topic of interest in relation to thin-film solar cell production due to the material’s stability at a wide range of temperatures, its spontaneous polarization, and the potentially low-cost of production. Integration of BTO on silicon could enable the creation of highly efficient solar cells, as BTO’s ferroelectric properties encourage the detachment of photo excited electrons.  We have previously demonstrated successful integration of BTO on silicon carbide (SiC) substrates, using a magnesium oxide (MgO) heteroepitaxial layer to enable single-crystal orientation of the BTO film deposited on SiC.1 BTO has also been successfully grown on silicon substrates, but  with the use of strontium titanate (STO) and MgO buffer layers to resist formation of SiO2.2 Integration of BTO on Si with a single MgO interface layer would decrease interfacial losses in a final solar cell device.  Based on previous work with SiC, we believe a single interface can be possible by controlling the surface interactions during film growth.

                  In this research, MgO is grown on Si (001) substrates in an ultrahigh vacuum (UHV) environment using a number of growth methods including molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) and sputtering.   In comparing differences in surface structure using reflection high-energy electron diffraction (RHEED) and surface chemistry using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), we can understand surface interactions between Si, Mg, and O.  By understanding the relationship between atomic level interactions and ultimate film characteristics, we can engineer the most effective process for BTO integration on Si. The substrates are cleaned using wet chemicals to create a hydrogen-terminated surface that resists contamination from laboratory exposure.  XPS and RHEED are used to verify the lack of contamination on the surface and proper crystallographic orientation. Contaminant levels of 7.61 % oxygen (0.15 O/Si ratio) and 18.0% carbon (0.31 C/Si ratio) are the most successful results that have thus far been attained. XPS and RHEED will serve to confirm proper growth of MgO (001) on Si and determine thickness of the MgO film. BTO is then grown on the correctly-oriented MgO film using MBE, as has already been demonstrated on MgO/SiC substrates.1 This presentation will discuss cleaning and growth conditions for successful production of high quality BTO on Si using the single MgO interface layer.