Copper (I) oxide (Cu2O) is a direct band gap semiconductor with p-type conductivity and is a potential candidate for multi-junction solar cells. In this work, incoherent light source based photo-assisted metal-organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) was used to deposit high quality Cu2O thin films on n-type <100> silicon and quartz substrates. X-ray diffraction studies reveal that crystalline Cu2O is deposited. UV-Vis-NIR spectroscopy results indicated a band gap of 2.44 eV for Cu2O thin films. Transmission electron spectroscopy results show that the Cu2O film grows in the form of three-dimensional islands composed of smaller nanocrystalline grains in the range of 10-20 nm. I-V measurements indicate that the Cu2O/n-Si device fabricated using the MOCVD process has a lower dark current density than other devices reported in the literature.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Solar markets: Overall Growth & Size by Country, available: http://solarcellcentral.com/markets_page.html, June 2012.
R. Singh and J.D. Leslie: Economic requirements for new materials for solar photovoltaic cells. Sol. Energy 24 (6), 589 (1980).
M.A. Green: The path to 25% silicon solar cell efficiency: History of silicon cell evolution. Prog. Photovoltaics Res. Appl. 17 (3), 183 (2009).
Z. Wang, P. Han, H. Lu, H. Qian, L. Chen, Q. Meng, N. Tang, F. Gao, Y. Jia, J. Wu, Y. Fei, W. Wu, H. Zhu, J. Ji, Z. Shi, A. Sugianto, L. Mai, B. Hallam, and S. Wenham: Advanced PERC and PERL production cells with 20.3% record efficiency for standard commercial p-type silicon wafers. Prog. Photovoltaics Res. Appl. 20 (3), 260 (2012).
R. Singh and G.F. Alapatt: Innovative paths for providing green energy by the use of photovoltaics for sustainable global economic growth, in Photonic Innovations and Solutions for Complex Environments and Systems (PISCES), edited by A. Lakhtakia and J.A. Todd (Proc. SPIE 8482, Bellingham, WA, 2012), p. 848205.
R. Singh, N. Gupta, and K.F. Poole: Global green energy conversion revolution in 21st century through solid state devices. In Proceedings of 26th IEEE International Conference on Microelectronics, Nis, Serbia, May 11-14, 2008, edited by N. Stojadinovi, (IEEE, New York, NY), p. 45.
R. Singh: Why silicon is and will remain the dominant photovoltaic material. J. Nanophotonics 3 (1), 032503 (2009).
R. Singh, G.F. Alapatt, and K.F. Poole: Photovoltaics: Emerging role as a dominant electricity generation technology in the 21st century. In Proceedings of 28th IEEE International Conference on Microelectronics, Nis, Serbia, May 13-16, 2012, edited by N. Stojadinovi, (IEEE, New York, NY), p. 53.
Annual Data 2012, Copper Supply and Consumption 1991-2011. Copper Development Association Inc., NY. http://www.copper.org/resources/market_data/pdfs/annual_data.pdf.
W. Shockley and H.J. Queisser: Detailed balance limit of efficiency of p-n junction solar cells. J. Appl. Phys. 32 (3), 510 (1961).
S.B. Ogale, P.G. Bilurkar, N. Mate, S.M. Kanetkar, N. Parikh, and B. Patnaik: Deposition of copper oxide thin films on different substrates by pulsed excimer laser ablation. J. Appl. Phys. 72 (8), 3765 (1992).
J.F. Pierson, A. Thobor-Keck, and A. Billard: Cuprite, paramelaconite and tenorite films deposited by reactive magnetron sputtering. Appl. Surf. Sci. 210 (3-4), 359 (2003).
B. Balamurugan and B.R. Mehta: Optical and structural properties of nanocrystalline copper oxide thin films prepared by activated reactive evaporation. Thin Solid Films 396 (1-2), 90 (2001).
L.C. Olsen, F.W. Addis, and W. Miller: Experimental and theoretical studies of Cu2O solar cells. Solar Cells 7 (3), 247 (1982).
E. Kennard and E. Dieterich: An effect of light upon the contact potential of selenium and cuprous oxide. Phys. Rev. 9 (1), 58 (1917).
F. Biccari: Defects and doping in Cu2O. Ph.D. Dissertation, Department of Physics, Sapienza - University of Rome, Rome, Italy, 2009.
A. Mittiga, E. Salza, F. Sarto, M. Tucci, and R. Vasanthi: Heterojunction solar cell with 2% efficiency based on a Cu2O substrate. Appl. Phys. Lett. 88 (16), 163502 (2006).
M.F. Jawad, R.A. Ismail, and K.Z. Yahea: Preparation of nanocrystalline Cu2O thin film by pulsed laser deposition. J. Mater. Sci. - Mater. Electron. 24 (9), 1244 (2011).
T. Maruyama: Copper oxide thin films prepared by chemical vapor deposition from copper dipivaloylmethanate. Sol. Energy Mater. Sol. Cells 56 (1), 85 (1998).
J.A. Switzer, R. Liu, E.W. Bohannan, and F. Ernst: Epitaxial electrodeposition of a crystalline metal oxide onto single-crystalline silicon. J. Phys. Chem. B 106 (48), 12369 (2002).
L.S. Huang, S.G. Yang, T. Li, B.X. Gu, Y.W. Du, Y.N. Lu, and S.Z. Shi: Preparation of large-scale cupric oxide nanowires by thermal evaporation method. J. Cryst. Growth 260 (1-2), 130 (2004).
S. Ghosh, D.K. Avasthi, P. Shah, V. Ganesan, A. Gupta, D. Sarangi, R. Bhattacharya, and W. Assmann: Deposition of thin films of different oxides of copper by RF reactive sputtering and their characterization. Vacuum 57 (4), 377 (2000).
R. Singh and V. Parihar: Rapid photothermal processing (RPP) of dielectrics, in Handbook of Low and High Dielectric Constant Materials and their Applications, edited by H.S. Nalwa (Academic Press 2, San Diego, CA, 1999), p. 1.
R. Singh, S. Nimmagadda, V. Parihar, Y. Chen, and K.F. Poole: Role of rapid photothermal processing in process integration. IEEE Trans. Electron Devices 45, 643 (1998).
S. Venkataraman, R. Singh, V. Parihar, K.F. Poole, and A. Rohatgi: Effect of ultraviolet and vacuum ultraviolet photons in rapid photothermal processing on the minority carrier life time of silicon wafers. J. Electron. Mater. 26, 1394 (1999).
A. Venkateshan, R. Singh, K.F. Poole, J. Harriss, H. Senter, R. Teague, and J. Narayan: High-gate dielectrics with ultra-low leakage current for sub-45 nm CMOS. Electron Lett. 43 (21), 1130 (2007).
S. Shishiyanu, R. Singh, T. Shishiyanu, S. Asher, and R. Reedy: The mechanism of enhanced diffusion of phosphorus in silicon during rapid photothermal processing of solar cells. IEEE Trans. Electron Devices 58, 776 (2011).
G. Kortüm, W. Braun, and G. Herzog: Principles and techniques of diffuse-reflectance spectroscopy. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. Engl. 2, 333 (1963).
S. Jeong and E.S. Aydil: Heteroepitaxial growth of Cu2O thin film on ZnO by metal organic chemical vapor deposition. J. Cryst. Growth 311 (17), 4188 (2009).
K. Akimoto, S. Ishizuka, M. Yanagita, Y. Nawa, G.K. Paul, and T. Sakurai: Thin film deposition of Cu2O and application for solar cells. Sol. Energy 80 (6), 715 (2006).
M. Izaki, T. Shinagawa, K. Mizuno, Y. Ida, M. Inaba, and A. Tasaka: Electrochemically constructed p-Cu2O/n-ZnO heterojunction diode for photovoltaic device. J. Phys. D: Appl. Phys. 40 (11), 3326 (2007).
J. Tauc, R. Grigorovici, and A. Vancu: Optical properties and electronic structure of amorphous germanium. Phys. Status Solidi B 15 (2), 627 (1966).
H.M. Pathan, J.D. Desai, and C.D. Lokhande: Modified chemical deposition and physico-chemical properties of copper sulphide (Cu2S) thin films. Appl. Surf. Sci. 202 (1-2), 47 (2002).
F. Drobny and D. Pulfrey: The photovoltaic properties of thin copper oxide films, Proceedings of 13th IEEE Photo-voltaic Specialists Conference, Washington, DC, USA, 1978, edited by N. Stojadinovi, (IEEE, New York, NY), p. 180.
R.A. Ismail: Characteristics of p-Cu2O/n-Si heterojunction photodiode made by rapid thermal oxidation. Semicond. Sci. Technol. 9, 51 (2009).
This author was an editor of this focus issue during the review and decision stage. For the JMR policy on review and publication of manuscripts authored by editors, please refer to http://www.mrs.org/jmr-editor-manuscripts/
About this article
Cite this article
Gupta, N., Singh, R., Wu, F. et al. Deposition and characterization of nanostructured Cu2O thin-film for potential photovoltaic applications. Journal of Materials Research 28, 1740–1746 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1557/jmr.2013.150