Researchers Tweak Band Gap of Solar Cell Compound with Very High Pressure

This is a microphotograph of "wurzite" GaAs nanowire in a diamond anvil cell high pressure cavity kept at 99,000 times normal atmospheric pressure (10 gigapascals); a blue spot is from the 488 nm laser spot (about 4 µm in diameter). Credit: Wei Zhou

A team of researchers has analyzed a new approach for tuning of gallium arsenide (GaAs). This material possesses natural semiconducting properties. The nanoparticle and nanowire form of GaAs can be used in applications where silicon is being presently used, such as in the manufacture of optoelectronics and solar cells.

However, there are some hurdles, and in order to increase gallium arsenide’s attractiveness for widespread usage, it requires a bit of tuning. When a specific amount of energy is applied to a semiconducting material, its bound electrons move to conducting states, increasing its conductivity. The amount of energy needed to induce the electrons to move to a higher-energy state is called as the “band gap,” and fine-tuning this gap has advantages.

The research team used very high pressure for tweaking the band gap. This high pressure modified gallium arsenide’s electron-carrier properties. In earlier studies, researchers had used nanowires made from gallium arsenide with "zincblende" structure, and found that under application of pressure, the band gap widened. In the present study, the research team used nanowires with "wurtzite" structure. High pressure in the order of 23GPa was applied on these wires in diamond anvil cells. The widening of the band gap was found to be much less than when "zincblende" crystal nanowires were used. At a pressure of 21GPa, a structural change occurred in the "wurtzite" gallium arsenide nanowires. A new "orthorhombic" phase was induced and this may provide metallic electronic properties to the material.

The study suggests that when the two gallium arsenide structure types are possibly used in a single device, it may help develop more useful electronic functions.

Alexander Goncharov of Carnegie led the research team, which included Jian-Bo Zhang from South China University of Technology, and Wei Zhou, Yu-Qi Wang, Xin-Hua Li and Xiao-Jia Chen from the Chinese Academy of Sciences. This study has been published in Scientific Reports.

References

Stuart Milne

Written by

Stuart Milne

Stuart graduated from the University of Wales, Institute Cardiff with a first-class honours degree in Industrial Product Design. After working on a start-up company involved in LED Lighting solutions, Stuart decided to take an opportunity with AZoNetwork. Over the past five years at AZoNetwork, Stuart has been involved in developing an industry leading range of products, enhancing client experience and improving internal systems designed to deliver significant value for clients hard earned marketing dollars. In his spare time Stuart likes to continue his love for art and design by creating art work and continuing his love for sketching. In the future Stuart, would like to continue his love for travel and explore new and exciting places.

Citations

Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:

  • APA

    Milne, Stuart. (2014, September 29). Researchers Tweak Band Gap of Solar Cell Compound with Very High Pressure. AZoM. Retrieved on May 14, 2021 from https://www.azom.com/news.aspx?newsID=42499.

  • MLA

    Milne, Stuart. "Researchers Tweak Band Gap of Solar Cell Compound with Very High Pressure". AZoM. 14 May 2021. <https://www.azom.com/news.aspx?newsID=42499>.

  • Chicago

    Milne, Stuart. "Researchers Tweak Band Gap of Solar Cell Compound with Very High Pressure". AZoM. https://www.azom.com/news.aspx?newsID=42499. (accessed May 14, 2021).

  • Harvard

    Milne, Stuart. 2014. Researchers Tweak Band Gap of Solar Cell Compound with Very High Pressure. AZoM, viewed 14 May 2021, https://www.azom.com/news.aspx?newsID=42499.

Tell Us What You Think

Do you have a review, update or anything you would like to add to this news story?

Leave your feedback
Submit