We examine ZnSnN2, a member of the class of materials contemporarily termed “earth-abundant element semiconductors,” with an emphasis on evaluating its suitability for photovoltaic applications. It is predicted to crystallize in an orthorhombic lattice with an energy gap of 2 eV. Instead, using molecular beam epitaxy to deposit high-purity, single crystal as well as highly textured polycrystalline thin films, only a monoclinic structure is observed experimentally. Far from being detrimental, we demonstrate that the cation sublattice disorder which inhibits the orthorhombic lattice has a profound effect on the energy gap, obviating the need for alloying to match the solar spectrum.

1.
A. C.
Tolcin
,
Mineral Commodity Summaries 2013
(
U.S. Geological Survey
,
Reston, Virginia
,
2013
), pp.
74
76
.
2.
A.
Punya
,
W. R. L.
Lambrecht
, and
M.
van Schilfgaarde
,
Phys. Rev. B
84
,
165204
(
2011
).
3.
C. H. L.
Goodman
,
Nature
179
,
828
(
1957
).
4.
B. W.
Jaskula
,
Mineral Commodity Summaries 2013
(
U.S. Geological Survey
,
Reston, Virginia
,
2013
), pp.
58
60
.
5.
A. C.
Tolcin
,
Mineral Commodity Summaries 2013
(
U.S. Geological Survey
,
Reston, Virginia
,
2013
), pp.
188
189
.
6.
J. F.
Carlin
,
Mineral Commodity Summaries 2013
(
U.S. Geological Survey
,
Reston, Virginia
,
2013
), pp.
170
171
.
7.
T.
Cloitre
,
A.
Sere
, and
R. L.
Aulombard
,
Superlattices Microstruct.
36
,
377
(
2004
).
8.
T.
Endo
,
Y.
Sato
,
H.
Takizawa
, and
M.
Shimada
,
J. Mater. Sci. Lett.
11
,
424
(
1992
).
9.
J.
Muth
,
A.
Cai
,
A.
Osinsky
,
H.
Everitt
,
B.
Cook
, and
I.
Avrutsky
, in
MRS Online Proceedings Library
(
2004
), p.
831
.
10.
K.
Du
,
C.
Bekele
,
C. C.
Hayman
,
J. C.
Angus
,
P.
Pirouz
, and
K.
Kash
,
J. Cryst. Growth
310
,
1057
(
2008
).
11.
M.
Maunaye
and
J.
Lang
,
Mater. Res. Bull.
5
,
793
(
1970
).
12.
T.
Misaki
,
K.
Tsuchiya
,
D.
Sakai
,
A.
Wakahara
,
H.
Okada
, and
A.
Yoshida
,
Phys Status Solidi C
0
,
188
(
2002
).
13.
J. E.
Van Nostrand
,
J. D.
Albrecht
,
R.
Cortez
,
K. D.
Leedy
,
B.
Johnson
, and
M. J.
O'Keefe
,
J. Electron. Mater.
34
,
1349
(
2005
).
14.
R.
Viennois
,
T.
Taliercio
,
V.
Potin
,
A.
Errebbahi
,
B.
Gil
,
S.
Charar
,
A.
Haidoux
, and
J. C.
Tédenac
,
Mater. Sci. Eng., B
82
,
45
(
2001
).
15.
M.
Wintenberger
,
M.
Maunaye
, and
Y.
Laurent
,
Mater. Res. Bull.
8
,
1049
(
1973
).
16.
L.
Lahourcade
,
N. C.
Coronel
,
K. T.
Delaney
,
S. K.
Shukla
,
N. A.
Spaldin
, and
H. A.
Atwater
,
Adv. Mater.
25
,
2562
(
2013
).
17.
N.
Feldberg
,
B.
Keen
,
J. D.
Aldous
,
D. O.
Scanlon
,
P. A.
Stampe
,
R. J.
Kennedy
,
R. J.
Reeves
,
T. D.
Veal
, and
S. M.
Durbin
, in
Proceedings of the 38th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference (PVSC)
(
2012
), p.
002527
.
18.
J. E.
Jaffe
and
A.
Zunger
,
Phys. Rev. B
27
,
5176
(
1983
).
19.
D. O.
Scanlon
and
A.
Walsh
,
Appl. Phys. Lett.
100
,
251911
(
2012
).
20.
G.
Kresse
and
J.
Furthmüller
,
Phys. Rev. B
54
,
11169
(
1996
).
21.
G.
Kresse
and
J.
Hafner
,
Phys. Rev. B
49
,
14251
(
1994
).
22.
J. P.
Perdew
,
K.
Burke
, and
M.
Ernzerhof
,
Phys. Rev. Lett.
77
,
3865
(
1996
).
23.
P. E.
Blöchl
,
Phys. Rev. B
50
,
17953
(
1994
).
24.
G.
Kresse
and
D.
Joubert
,
Phys. Rev. B
59
,
1758
(
1999
).
25.
C.
Adamo
and
V.
Barone
,
J. Chem. Phys.
110
(
13
),
6158
6170
(
1999
).
26.
J.
Paier
,
M.
Marsman
,
K.
Hummer
,
G.
Kresse
,
I. C.
Gerber
, and
J. G.
Angyan
,
J. Chem. Phys.
124
,
154709
(
2006
).
27.
X.
Wu
,
E. J.
Walter
,
A. M.
Rappe
,
R.
Car
, and
A.
Selloni
,
Phys. Rev. B
80
,
115201
(
2009
).
28.
P. G.
Moses
,
M.
Miao
,
Q.
Yan
, and
C. G.
Van de Walle
,
J. Chem. Phys.
134
,
084703
(
2011
).
29.
V.
Yu. Davydov
and
A. A.
Klochikhin
,
Indium Nitride and Related Alloys
, edited by
T. D.
Veal
,
C. F.
McConville
, and
W. J.
Schaff
(
CRC Press
,
Boca Raton, Fl
,
2010
), pp.
181
242
.
30.
31.
T. S.
Moss
,
Proc. Phys. Soc., London, Sect. B
67
,
775
(
1954
).
32.
A.
Zunger
,
S. H.
Wei
,
L. G.
Ferreira
, and
J. E.
Bernard
,
Phys. Rev. Lett.
65
,
353
(
1990
).
33.
A. R.
Smith
,
R. M.
Feebstra
,
D. W.
Greve
,
M.-S.
Shin
,
M.
Skowronski
,
J.
Neugebauer
, and
J. E.
Northrup
,
J. Vac. Sci. Technol. B
16
,
2242
(
1998
).
34.
G.
Koblmüller
,
J.
Brown
,
R.
Averbeck
,
H.
Riechert
,
P.
Pongratz
, and
J. S.
Speck
,
Jpn. J. Appl. Phys., Part 2
44
,
L906
(
2005
).
35.
J. K.
Shurtleff
,
R. T.
Lee
,
C. M.
Fetzer
, and
G. B.
Stringfellow
,
Appl. Phys. Lett.
75
,
1914
(
1999
).
You do not currently have access to this content.