VxIn(2-x)S3 Intermediate Band Absorbers Deposited by Atomic Layer Deposition

Robert F. McCarthy, Matthew S. Weimer, Richard T. Haasch, Richard D. Schaller, Adam S. Hock, Alex B F Martinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Substitutional alloys of several thin film semiconductors have been proposed as intermediate band (IB) materials for use in next-generation photovoltaics, which aim to utilize a larger fraction of the solar spectrum without sacrificing significant photovoltage. We demonstrate a novel approach to IB material growth, namely atomic layer deposition (ALD), to allow unique control over substitutional-dopant location and density. Two new ALD processes for vanadium sulfide incorporation are introduced, one of which incorporates a vanadium(III) amidinate previously untested for ALD. Using this process, we synthesize the first thin film VxIn(2-x)S3 intermediate band semiconductors and further demonstrate that the V:In ratio, and therefore intraband gap density of states, can be finely tuned according to the ALD dosing schedule. Deposition on a crystalline In2S3 underlayer promotes the growth of a tetragonal β-In2S3-like phase VxIn(2-x)S3, which exhibits a distinct sub-band gap absorption peak with onset near 1.1 eV in agreement with computational predictions. However, the VxIn(2-x)S3 films lack the lower-energy transition predicted for a partially filled IB, and photoelectrochemical devices reveal a photocurrent response only from illumination with energy sufficient to span the parent band gap.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2033-2040
Number of pages8
JournalChemistry of Materials
Issue number7
StatePublished - Apr 26 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Materials Chemistry


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