Comparative studies of optoelectrical properties of prominent PV materials: Halide perovskite, CdTe, and GaAs

Fan Zhang, Jose F. Castaneda, Shangshang Chen, Wuqiang Wu, Michael J. DiNezza, Maxwell Lassise, Wanyi Nie, Aditya Mohite, Yucheng Liu, Shengzhong Liu, Daniel Friedman, Henan Liu, Qiong Chen, Yong Hang Zhang, Jinsong Huang, Yong Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


We compare three representative high performance PV materials: halide perovskite MAPbI3, CdTe, and GaAs, in terms of photoluminescence (PL) efficiency, PL lineshape, carrier diffusion, and surface recombination and passivation, over multiple orders of photo-excitation density or carrier density appropriate for different applications. An analytic model is used to describe the excitation density dependence of PL intensity and extract the internal PL efficiency and multiple pertinent recombination parameters. A PL imaging technique is used to obtain carrier diffusion length without using a PL quencher, thus, free of unintended influence beyond pure diffusion. Our results show that perovskite samples tend to exhibit lower Shockley–Read–Hall (SRH) recombination rate in both bulk and surface, thus higher PL efficiency than the inorganic counterparts, particularly under low excitation density, even with no or preliminary surface passivation. PL lineshape and diffusion analysis indicate that there is considerable structural disordering in the perovskite materials, and thus photo-generated carriers are not in global thermal equilibrium, which in turn suppresses the nonradiative recombination. This study suggests that relatively low point-defect density, less detrimental surface recombination, and moderate structural disordering contribute to the high PV efficiency in the perovskite. This comparative photovoltaics study provides more insights into the fundamental material science and the search for optimal device designs by learning from different technologies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)18-29
Number of pages12
JournalMaterials Today
StatePublished - Jun 2020


  • Carrier diffusion
  • Organic–inorganic hybrid
  • PV materials
  • Passivation
  • Photoluminescence efficiency
  • SRH recombination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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