Close-Spaced Vapor Transport for III-V Solar Absorbing Devices
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Capture of the energy in sunlight relies mainly on the use of light-absorbing semiconductors, in solar cells and in water-splitting devices. While solar cell efficiency has increased dramatically since the first practical device was made in 1954, production costs for the most-efficient solar absorbers, III-V semiconductors, remain high. This is largely a result of use of expensive, slow growth methods which rely on hazardous gas-phase precursors. Alternative growth methods are necessary to lower the cost for III-V materials for use in solar cells and improve the practicality of water-splitting devices. The research goal of this dissertation is two-fold: to expand the capabilities of close-spaced vapor transport, an alternative growth method for III-Vs to demonstrate its compatibility with current technologies; and to explore the fundamental chemistry of close-spaced vapor transport as a growth method for these materials. This dissertation surveys plausibly lower-cost growth methods for III-V semiconductors (Chapter II) and presents in-depth studies on the growth chemistry of two ternary III-Vs: GaAs1-xPx (Chapter III) and Ga1-xInxP (Chapter IV). Finally, the growth of GaAs microstructures which could be utilized in a water-splitting device is studied (Chapter V). This dissertation includes previously published and unpublished co-authored material.