Predicted CsSi compound: a promising material for photovoltaic applications
Exploration of photovoltaic materials has received enormous interest for a wide range of both fundamental and applied research. Therefore, in this work, we identify a CsSi compound with a Zintl phase as a promising candidate for photovoltaic material by using a global structure prediction method. Electronic structure calculations indicate that this phase possesses a quasi-direct band gap of 1.45 eV, suggesting that its optical properties could be superior to those of diamond-Si for capturing sunlight from the visible to the ultraviolet range. In addition, a novel silicon allotrope is obtained by removing Cs atoms from this CsSi compound. The superconducting critical temperature (Tc) of this phase was estimated to be of 9 K in terms of a substantial density of states at the Fermi level. Our findings represent a new promising CsSi material for photovoltaic applications, as well as a potential precursor of a superconducting silicon allotrope.