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Impact of metastable defect structures on carrier recombination in solar cells

Kavanagh, Seán R; Scanlon, David O; Walsh, Aron; Freysoldt, Christoph; (2022) Impact of metastable defect structures on carrier recombination in solar cells. Faraday Discussions 10.1039/D2FD00043A. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

The efficiency of a solar cell is often limited by electron-hole recombination mediated by defect states within the band gap of the photovoltaic (PV) semiconductor. The Shockley-Read-Hall (SRH) model considers a static trap that can successively capture electrons and holes. In reality however, true trap levels vary with both the defect charge state and local structure. Here we consider the role of metastable structural configurations in capturing electrons and holes, taking the tellurium interstitial in CdTe as an illustrative example. Consideration of the defect dynamics, and symmetry-breaking, changes the qualitative behaviour and activates new pathways for carrier capture. Our results reveal the potential importance of metastable defect structures in non-radiative recombination, in particular for semiconductors with anharmonic/ionic-covalent bonding, multinary compositions, low crystal symmetries or highly-mobile defects.

Type: Article
Title: Impact of metastable defect structures on carrier recombination in solar cells
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1039/D2FD00043A
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1039/D2FD00043A
Language: English
Additional information: his article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported Licence
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Dept of Chemistry
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10144515
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