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Nano Lett ; 18(5): 3038-3046, 2018 05 09.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29701974


III-V solar cells in the nanowire geometry might hold significant synthesis-cost and device-design advantages as compared to thin films and have shown impressive performance improvements in recent years. To continue this development there is a need for characterization techniques giving quick and reliable feedback for growth development. Further, characterization techniques which can improve understanding of the link between nanowire growth conditions, subsequent processing, and solar cell performance are desired. Here, we present the use of a nanoprobe system inside a scanning electron microscope to efficiently contact single nanowires and characterize them in terms of key parameters for solar cell performance. Specifically, we study single as-grown InP nanowires and use electron beam induced current characterization to understand the charge carrier collection properties, and dark current-voltage characteristics to understand the diode recombination characteristics. By correlating the single nanowire measurements to performance of fully processed nanowire array solar cells, we identify how the performance limiting parameters are related to growth and/or processing conditions. We use this understanding to achieve a more than 7-fold improvement in efficiency of our InP nanowire solar cells, grown from a different seed particle pattern than previously reported from our group. The best cell shows a certified efficiency of 15.0%; the highest reported value for a bottom-up synthesized InP nanowire solar cell. We believe the presented approach have significant potential to speed-up the development of nanowire solar cells, as well as other nanowire-based electronic/optoelectronic devices.