Electronic structure of GaP/Si(001) heterojunctions and the role of hydrogen passivation

Reza Vatan Meidanshahi, Chaomin Zhang, Yongjie Zou, Christiana Honsberg, Stephen M. Goodnick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Epitaxially grown single crystal GaP on Si is of considerable interest due to being nearly lattice matched to Si, making it attractive for III-V/Si solar cells. GaP has been used as a buffer layer for III-V/Si solar cells and also in selective contact Si solar cells. The performance and functionality of such devices are strongly influenced by the presence of localized states at the GaP/Si interface. Here, we examine the electronic structure of GaP/Si(001) heterojunctions and the effect of hydrogen (H) passivation at the interface, in contrast to interface mixing, through density functional theory calculations. Our calculations show that due to the heterovalent mismatch nature of the GaP/Si interface, there is a high density of localized states at the abrupt GaP/Si interface due to the excess charge associated with heterovalent bonding, as reported elsewhere. We find that the addition of H leads to additional bonding at the interface, which mitigates the charge imbalance, and greatly reduces the density of localized states, leading to a nearly ideal heterojunction. A similar result is found with a completely intermixed interface (alternating cation and anion bonding) in terms of low interface state density. However, when the intermixing occurs through single-layer or double-layer terraces, the benefits of intermixing are lost and the interface state density reverts more to the abrupt interface case.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)724-732
Number of pages9
JournalProgress in Photovoltaics: Research and Applications
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2019


  • H passivation
  • III-V/Si solar cells
  • localized states

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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