Metal-assisted chemical etching of Ge surface and its effect on photovoltaic devices

Seunghyo Lee, Hyeokseong Choo, Changheon Kim, Eunseok Oh, Dongwan Seo, Sangwoo Lim

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16 Citations (Scopus)


Ge surfaces were etched by means of metal-assisted chemical etching (MaCE). The behavior of the MaCE reaction in diluted H 2 O 2 was compared with that of a conventional etchant of HF/H 2 O 2 /H 2 O mixture (FPM). Herein we first report that a pyramidal structure on Ge (0 0 1) can be prepared by MaCE in dilute H 2 O 2 solution, without the use of HF. Contrastingly, an octagonal trench structure was prepared by 4/5/1 FPM treatment of Ge (0 0 1) surface. This octagonal structure consisted of a square base, four large facets connected to the base, and other four small facets adjacent to the four large facets, which were considered to be (0 0 1), {1 1 0}, and {1 1 1}, respectively. The octagonal trench was formed as a result of the difference in etch rate of Ge depending on the orientation: {1 0 0} > {1 1 0} > {1 1 1}. Ge surfaces treated by MaCE exhibited improved solar cell efficiency due to their improved light absorption, which led to significant increases in the cells' short circuit current and fill factor. The results suggest that optimized MaCE procedures can be an effective method to improve the performance of Ge-based photovoltaic devices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-138
Number of pages10
JournalApplied Surface Science
Publication statusPublished - 2016 May 15

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films


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