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Pathway to oxide photovoltaics via band-structure engineering of SnO
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All-oxide photovoltaics could open rapidly scalable manufacturing routes, if only oxide materials with suitable electronic and optical properties were developed. SnO has exceptional doping and transport properties among oxides, but suffers from a strongly indirect band gap. Here, we address this shortcoming by band-structure engineering through isovalent but heterostructural alloying with divalent cations (Mg, Ca, Sr, and Zn). Using first-principles calculations, we show that suitable band gaps and optical properties close to that of direct semiconductors are achievable, while the comparatively small effective masses are preserved in the alloys. Initial thin film synthesis and characterization support the feasibility of the approach.
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