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21 February 2011 Modeling and optimal designs for dislocation and radiation tolerant single and multijunction solar cells
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Crystalline defects (e.g. dislocations or grain boundaries) as well as electron and proton induced defects cause reduction of minority carrier diffusion length which in turn results in degradation of efficiency of solar cells. Hetro-epitaxial or metamorphic III-V devices with low dislocation density have high BOL efficiencies but electron-proton radiation causes degradation in EOL efficiencies. By optimizing the device design (emitter-base thickness, doping) we can obtain highly dislocated metamorphic devices that are radiation resistant. Here we have modeled III-V single and multi junction solar cells using drift and diffusion equations considering experimental III-V material parameters, dislocation density, 1 Mev equivalent electron radiation doses, thicknesses and doping concentration. Thinner device thickness leads to increment in EOL efficiency of high dislocation density solar cells. By optimizing device design we can obtain nearly same EOL efficiencies from high dislocation solar cells than from defect free III-V multijunction solar cells. As example defect free GaAs solar cell after optimization gives 11.2% EOL efficiency (under typical 5x1015cm-2 1 MeV electron fluence) while a GaAs solar cell with high dislocation density (108 cm-2) after optimization gives 10.6% EOL efficiency. The approach provides an additional degree of freedom in the design of high efficiency space cells and could in turn be used to relax the need for thick defect filtering buffer in metamorphic devices.
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A. Mehrotra, A. Alemu, and A. Freundlich "Modeling and optimal designs for dislocation and radiation tolerant single and multijunction solar cells", Proc. SPIE 7933, Physics and Simulation of Optoelectronic Devices XIX, 79332G (21 February 2011);

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