Surface Photovoltage at Nanostructures on Si Surfaces: Ab Initio Results

Dmitri S. Kilin and David A. Micha, Surface Photovoltage at Nanostructures on Si Surfaces: Ab Initio Results
J. Phys. Chem. C, 2009, 113 (9), pp 3530-3542, 2009-02-11

Abstract [-]: Charge transfer photoinduced by steady light absorption on a silicon surface leads to formation of a surface photovoltage (SPV). The dependence of this voltage on the structure of surface adsorbates and on the wavelength of light is studied with a combination of ab initio electronic structure calculations and the reduced density matrix for the open excited system. Our derivations provide time averages of surface electric dipoles, which follow from a time-dependent density matrix (TDDM) treatment using a steady state solution for the TDDM equations of motion. Ab initio calculations have been carried out in a basis set of Kohn−Sham orbitals obtained by a density functional treatment using atomic pseudopotentials. Applications have been done to a H-terminated Si(111) surface and for adsorbed Ag, with surface coverage ranging from 0 to 3/24 of a monolayer. Calculations done also for amorphous Si agree with measured values of the SPV versus incident photon frequency for H-terminated a-Si. Surface adsorbates are found to enhance light absorption and facilitate electronic charge transfer at the surface. Specifically, Ag clusters add electronic states in the energy gap area, provide stronger absorption in the IR and visible spectral regions, and open up additional pathways for surface charge transfer. Our treatment can be implemented for a wide class of photoelectronic materials relevant to solar energy capture.

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