The effect of Mn concentration on the optical properties of Mn-doped layers grown by metalorganic vapor phase epitaxy is investigated. The Mn-doped GaN layers exhibite a typical transmittance spectrum with a distinct dip around 820 nm which is attributed to the transition of electrons between the edge of valence band and the Mn-related states within the bandgap. In addition, electroluminescence (EL) spectra obtained from the bipolar devices with Mn-doped GaN active layer also show that considerable Mn-related energy states existed in the bandgap. The position of the Mn-related energy states in the GaN is first evaluated via EL spectra. In addition to the absorption of band edge, the Mn-related energy states behaving like an intermediate band cause an additional sub-band gap absorption. Consequently, the fabricated GaN-based solar cells using Mn-doed GaN as the absorption layer exhibit photocurrent higher than the control devices without Mn doping. Under one-sun air mass 1.5 G testing condition, the short-circuit current of the Mn-doed GaN solar cells can be enhanced by a magnitude of 10 times compared with the cells without Mn doping.
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