Nano Research

, Volume 10, Issue 6, pp 1872–1879 | Cite as

Broadband photovoltaic effect of n-type topological insulator Bi2Te3 films on p-type Si substrates

  • Zhenhua Wang
  • Mingze Li
  • Liang Yang
  • Zhidong ZhangEmail author
  • Xuan P. A. GaoEmail author
Research Article


We report the photovoltaic effects of n-type topological insulator (TI) Bi2Te3 films grown on p-type Si substrates by chemical vapor deposition (CVD). The films containing large nanoplates with a smooth surface formed on p-Si exhibit good p–n diode characteristics under dark and light illumination conditions and display a good photovoltaic effect under the broadband range from ultraviolet (UV) to near infrared (NIR) wavelengths. Under the light illumination with a wavelength of 1,000 nm, a short circuit current (I SC) of 19.2 μA and an open circuit voltage (V OC) of 235 mV are achieved. The maximum fill factor (FF) increases with a decrease in the wavelength or light density, achieving a value of 35.6% under 600 nm illumination. The photoresponse of the n-Bi2Te3/p-Si device can be effectively switched between the on and off modes in millisecond time scale. These findings are important for both the fundamental understanding and solar cell device applications of TI materials.


photovoltaic effect topological insulators Bi2Te3/Si film 


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Z. H. W. acknowledges the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 51522104). X. P. A. G. acknowledges the NSF CAREER Award program (No. DMR-1151534) for financial support of research at CWRU. Z. D. Z. acknowledges the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 51590883, 51331006 and KJZD-EW-M05-3).

Supplementary material

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Broadband photovoltaic effect of n-type topological insulator Bi2Te3 films on p-type Si substrates


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Copyright information

© Tsinghua University Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Shenyang National Laboratory for Materials Science, Institute of Metal ResearchChinese Academy of SciencesShenyangChina
  2. 2.School of Materials Science and EngineeringUniversity of Science and Technology of ChinaHefeiChina
  3. 3.Department of PhysicsCase Western Reserve UniversityClevelandUSA

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