Silicon technologyhas been seekingfor a monolithic solution for a chip where data processing and data communication is performed in the CMOS part and the photonic component, respectively. Traditionally, silicon has been widely considered for electronic applications but not for photonic applications due to its indirect bandgap nature. However, band structure engineering and manipulation through alloying Si with Ge and Sn has opened new possibilities. Theoretical calculations show that it is possible to achieve direct transitions from Ge ifit is alloyed with Sn. Therefore, a GeSn system is a choice to get a direct bandgap. Extending to ternary GeSnSi and quaternary GeSnSiCstructures grown on Si wafers not only makes the bandgap engineering possible but also allowsgrowing lattice matched systems with different strain and bandgaps located in the infrared region. Different heterostructures can be designed and fabricated for detecting lightas photonic sensing oremitting the light as lasers. Alloying not only makes engineering possible but it also induces strain which plays an important role for electronic applications. Theoretical and experimental works show that tensile strain could increase the mobility, which is promising for electronic devices where high mobility channels for high performance MOSFETs is needed to speed up the switching rate. On the other hand, high n-doping in tensile strains in p-i-n structures makesΓ band transitions most probable which is promising for detection and emission of the light. As another benefit of tensile strain, the direct bandgap part shrinks faster than the indirect one if the strain amount is increased.
To get both electronic and photonic applications of GeSn-based structures, two heterostructures (Ge/GeSn(Si)/GeSi/Ge/Si and Ge/GeSn/Si systems), including relaxed and compressive strained layers used to produce tensile strained layers, were designed in this thesis. The low temperature growth is of key importance in this work because the synthesis of GeSn-based hetrostructures on Si wafers requires low thermal conditions due tothe large lattice mismatch which makes them metastable. RPCVD was used to synthesize theseheterostructures because not only it offers a low temperature growth but also because it is compatible with CMOS technology. For utilization of these structures in devices, n-type and p-type doping of relaxed and compressive strained layers were developed. HRRLMs, HRTEM, RBS, SIMS, and FPP techniques were employed to evaluatestrain, quality, Sn content and composition profile of the heterostructures.
The application of GeSn-based heterostructures is not restricted to electronics and photonics. Another application investigated in this work is photovoltaics. In competition with Si-based solar cells, which have, or areexpected to have,high stability and efficiency, thirdgeneration solar cells offer the use of low cost materials and production and can therefore be an alternative for future light energy conversion technology. Particularly, quantum dot sensitized solar cells are associated with favorable properties such as high extrinsic coefficients, size dependent bandgaps and multiple exciton generation and with a theoretical efficiencyof 44%. In this work, two categories of QDs, Cd-free and Cd-based QDs were employed as sensitizers in quantum dot sensitized solar cells (QDSSCs). Cd-based QDs have attracted large interest due to high quantum yield,however, toxicityremains still totheir disadvantage. Mn doping as a bandgap engineering tool for Cd-based type IIZnSe/CdS QDs wasemployed to boostthe solar cell efficiency. Theoretical and experimental investigations show that compared to single coreQDSSCs,typeII core-shells offer higher electron-hole separation due to efficient band alignment where the photogenerated electrons and holes are located in the conduction band of the shell and valence band of the core, respectively. This electron-hole separation suppresses recombination and by carefully designing the band alignment in the deviceit can increase the electron injection and consequently the power conversion efficiency of the device.
Considering eco-friendly and commercialization aspects, three different “green” colloidal nanostructures having special band alignments, which are compatible for sensitized solar cells, were designed and fabricated by the hot injection method. Cu2GeS3-InP QDs not only can harvest light energy up to the infraredregion but can also be usedastypeII QDs. ZnS-coating was employed as a strategy to passivate the surface of InP QDs from interaction with air and electrolyte. In addition, ZnS-coating and hybrid passivation was applied for CuInS2QDs to eliminate surface traps.