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Proceedings Paper

β-FeSi2 as a Kankyo (environmentally friendly) semiconductor for solar cells in the space application
Author(s): Yunosuke Makita; Teruhisa Ootsuka; Yasuhiro Fukuzawa; Naotaka Otogawa; Hironori Abe; Zhengxin Liu; Yasuhiko Nakayama
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Paper Abstract

β-FeSi2 defined as a Kankyo (Environmentally Friendly) semiconductor is regarded as one of the 3-rd generation semiconductors after Si and GaAs. Versatile features about β-FeSi2 are, i) high optical absorption coefficient (>105cm-1), ii) chemical stability at temperatures as high as 937°C, iii) high thermoelectric power (Seebeck coefficient of k ~ 10-4/K), iv) a direct energy band-gap of 0.85 eV, corresponding to 1.5μm of quartz optical fiber communication, v) lattice constant nearly well-matched to Si substrate, vi) high resistance against the humidity, chemical attacks and oxidization. Using β-FeSi2 films, one can fabricate various devices such as Si photosensors, solar cells and thermoelectric generators that can be integrated basically on Si-LSI circuits. β-FeSi2 has high resistance against the exposition of cosmic rays and radioactive rays owing to the large electron-empty space existing in the electron cloud pertinent to β-FeSi2. Further, the specific gravity of β-FeSi2 (4.93) is placed between Si (2.33) and GaAs ((5.33). These features together with the aforementioned high optical absorption coefficient are ideal for the fabrication of solar cells to be used in the space. To demonstrate fascinating capabilities of β-FeSi2, one has to prepare high quality β-FeSi2 films. We in this report summarize the current status of β-FeSi2 film preparation technologies. Modified MBE and facing-target sputtering (FTS) methods are principally discussed. High quality β-FeSi2 films have been formed on Si substrates by these methods. Preliminary structures of n-β-FeSi2 /p-Si and p-β-FeSi2 /n-Si solar cells indicated an energy conversion efficiency of 3.7%, implying that β-FeSi2 is practically a promising semiconductor for a photovoltaic device.

Paper Details

Date Published: 12 May 2006
PDF: 14 pages
Proc. SPIE 6197, Photonics for Solar Energy Systems, 61970O (12 May 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.664009
Show Author Affiliations
Yunosuke Makita, Kankyo Semiconductors Co., Ltd. (Japan)
Tateyama Kagaku Co., Ltd. (Japan)
Teruhisa Ootsuka, Tateyama Kagaku Co., Ltd. (Japan)
Yasuhiro Fukuzawa, Kankyo Semiconductors Co., Ltd. (Japan)
Naotaka Otogawa, Kankyo Semiconductors Co., Ltd. (Japan)
Hironori Abe, Tateyama Kagaku Co., Ltd. (Japan)
Zhengxin Liu, Tateyama Kagaku Co., Ltd. (Japan)
Yasuhiko Nakayama, Kankyo Semiconductors Co., Ltd. (Japan)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6197:
Photonics for Solar Energy Systems
Andreas Gombert, Editor(s)

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