Performance Enhancement of a Graphene-Zinc Phosphide Solar Cell Using the Electric Field-Effect

Vazquez-Mena O., Bosco J. P., Ergen O., Rasool H. I., Fathalizadeh A., Tosun M., ...More

NANO LETTERS, vol.14, no.8, pp.4280-4285, 2014 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 14 Issue: 8
  • Publication Date: 2014
  • Doi Number: 10.1021/nl500925n
  • Journal Name: NANO LETTERS
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.4280-4285
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: No


The optical transparency and high electron mobility of graphene make it an attractive material for photovoltaics. We present a field-effect solar cell using graphene to form a tunable junction barrier with an Earth-abundant and low cost zinc phosphide (Zn3P2) thin-film light absorber. Adding a semitransparent top electrostatic gate allows for tuning of the graphene Fermi level and hence the energy barrier at the graphene-Zn3P2 junction, going from an ohmic contact at negative gate voltages to a rectifying barrier at positive gate voltages. We perform current and capacitance measurements at different gate voltages in order to demonstrate the control of the energy barrier and depletion width in the zinc phosphide. photovoltaic measurements show that the efficiency conversion is increased 2-fold when we increase the gate voltage and the junction barrier to maximize the photovoltaic response. At an optimal gate voltage of +2 V, we obtain an open-circuit voltage of V-oc, = 0.53 V and an efficiency of 1.9% under AM 1.5 1-sun solar illumination. This work demonstrates that the field effect can be used to modulate and optimize the response of photovoltaic devices incorporating graphene. Our