University of Minnesota
School of Physics & Astronomy

Physics and Astronomy Calendar

Friday, December 16th 2016
2:00 pm:
Thesis Defense in Room 162 Amundson Hall
Speaker: Yanjun Yang, University of Minnesota
Subject: An Attempt to Synthesize Mn-doped Pyrite Thin Films
This is the public portion of Mr. Yang's Masters Thesis Defense. His advisors are Prof. Chris Leighton, Prof. Eray S. Aydil

Solar energy is a good choice to meet the energy and environmental challenges nowadays. Researchers have been searching for materials to make a solar absorber which can be widely applied in inexpensive photovoltaic devices. Pyrite FeS2 has long been recognized as a potential candidate for its theoretical high efficiency, low cost, earth-abundance and non-toxicity. However, the performance of pyrite based solar cells has been limited for some unknown reasons since the mid-1980s. The poorly understood doping mechanisms might be a reason for this low efficiency. Identifying unknown dopants, however, remains a big challenge, as does controlled n and p doping. In this work, we explore an approach to study doping by intentionally introducing Mn into pyrite thin films, which we may produce a p-type pyrite thin film. We focus on p-type films because unintentionally doped films were recently shown to be n-type, likely due to S vacancies. Development of a p dopant would therefore enable p-n junctions, a key step in creating a pyrite based solar absorber. In this work, we synthesized and studied the chemical, structural and electronic transport properties of Mn-doped pyrite thin films via ex situ sulfidation.

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