III-V semiconductor solar cells have demonstrated the highest power conversion efficiencies to date. However, the cost of III-V solar cells has historically been too high to be practical outside of specialty applications. This stems from the cost of raw materials, need for a lattice-matched substrate for single-crystal growth, and complex epitaxial growth processes. To address these challenges, here, we explore the direct non-epitaxial growth of thin poly-crystalline films of III-Vs on metal substrates by using MOCVD. This method minimizes the amount of raw material used while utilizing a low cost substrate. Specifically, we focus on InP which is known to have a low surface recombination velocity of carriers, thereby, making it an ideal candidate for efficient poly-crystalline cells where surface/interface properties at the grain boundaries are critical. The grown InP films are 1-3 microns thick and are composed of micron-sized grains that generally extend from the surface to the Mo substrate. They exhibit similar photoluminescence peak widths and positions as single-crystalline InP, as well as excellent crystallinity as examined through TEM and XRD analysis. This work presents poly-InP as a promising absorber layer for future photovoltaics.




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