20% (AM1.5) efficiency GaAs solar cells on sub-mm grain-size poly-Ge and its transition to low-cost substrates
Venkatasubramanian, R., O'Quinn, B. C., Siivola, E., Keyes, B., & Ahrenkiel, R. (1997). 20% (AM1.5) efficiency GaAs solar cells on sub-mm grain-size poly-Ge and its transition to low-cost substrates. In Twenty Sixth IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, Anaheim, CA, 29 September - 03 October 1997, pp. 811–814. Anaheim, CA: .
Some of the key material and device issues related to the development of GaAs solar cells on poly-Ge substrates, including the dark-current reduction mechanism with an undoped spacer at the p+ -n depletion layer, are discussed. Device-structure optimization studies that have led the authors to achieve an AM1.5 efficiency of ~20% for a 4 cm2 area GaAs cell on sub-mm grain-size poly-Ge and an efficiency of ~21% for a 0.25 cm2 area cell are presented. This successful demonstration of high-efficiency GaAs cells on sub-mm grain-size poly-Ge substrates have motivated them to consider the development of high-quality GaAs materials on significantly lower-cost substrates such as glass and moly foils. To date, they have achieved a best minority-carrier lifetime of 0.41 nsec in an n-GaAs thin-film on moly. The role of Group-VI dopant in the possible passivation of grain-boundaries in poly-GaAs is discussed. Development of PV-quality GaAs material, with minority-carrier lifetime of 1 to 2 nsec, on low-cost moly foils can significantly impact both the terrestrial and the space PV applications