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Hexagonal Boron Nitride for Surface Passivation of Two-Dimensional van der Waals Heterojunction Solar Cells

  • Ah-Jin Cho
    Ah-Jin Cho
    School of Integrated Technology, Yonsei University, Incheon 21983, South Korea
    Yonsei Institute of Convergence Technology, Incheon 21983, South Korea
    More by Ah-Jin Cho
  •  and 
  • Jang-Yeon Kwon*
    Jang-Yeon Kwon
    School of Integrated Technology, Yonsei University, Incheon 21983, South Korea
    Yonsei Institute of Convergence Technology, Incheon 21983, South Korea
    *E-mail: [email protected]
Cite this: ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 2019, 11, 43, 39765–39771
Publication Date (Web):October 2, 2019
https://doi.org/10.1021/acsami.9b11219
Copyright © 2019 American Chemical Society

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    Abstract

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    Two-dimensional (2D) semiconductors can be promising active materials for solar cells due to their advantageous electrical and optical properties, in addition to their ability to form high-quality van der Waals (vdW) heterojunctions using a simple process. Furthermore, the atomically thin nature of these 2D materials allows them to form lightweight and transparent thin-film solar cells. However, strategies appropriate for optimizing their properties have not been extensively studied yet. In this paper, we propose a method for reducing the electrical loss of 2D vdW solar cells by introducing hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN) as a surface passivation layer. This method allowed us to enhance the photovoltaic performance of a MoS2/WSe2 solar cell. In particular, we observed ∼74% improvement of the power conversion efficiency owing to a large increase in both short-circuit current and open-circuit voltage. Such a remarkable performance enhancement was due to the reduction of the recombination rate at the junction and surface of nonoverlapped semiconductor regions, which was confirmed via a time-resolved photoluminescence analysis. Furthermore, the h-BN top layer was found to improve the long-term stability of the tested 2D solar cell under ambient conditions. We observed the evolution of our MoS2/WSe2 solar cell for a month and found that h-BN passivation effectively suppressed its degradation speed. In particular, the degradation speed of the passivated cell was twice as low as that of a nonpassivated cell. This work reveals that h-BN can successfully suppress the electrical loss and degradation of 2D vdW heterojunction solar cells under ambient conditions.

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    The Supporting Information is available free of charge on the ACS Publications website at DOI: 10.1021/acsami.9b11219.

    • STEM cross-sectional image of a MoS2/WSe2/h-BN heterostructure; plots of parameter variation ratio after h-BN passivation; optical microscope and TRPL images of the tested MoS2/WSe2 heterostructure; schematic images describing the mechanism of the carrier recombination suppression by h-BN passivation; evolution of VOC and FF recorded during 30 days from the MoS2/WSe2 solar cell without and with the h-BN passivation layer stored under ambient conditions (PDF)

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