High-Efficiency Multijunction Solar Cells

Frank Dimroth, Sarah Kurtz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

139 Scopus Citations


The efficiency of a solar cell can be increased by stacking multiple solar cells with a range of bandgap energies, resulting in a multijunction solar cell with a maximum theoretical efficiency limit of 86.8%. III-V compound semiconductors are good candidates for fabricating such multijunction solar cells for two reasons: they can be grown with excellent material quality; and their bandgaps span a wide spectral range, mostly with direct bandgaps, implying a high absorption coefficient. These factors are the reason for the success of this technology, which has achieved 39% efficiency, the highest solar-to-electric conversion efficiency of any photovoltaic device to date. This article explores the materials science of today's high-efficiency multijunction cells and describes challenges associated with new materials developments and how they may lead to next-generation, multijunction solar cell concepts.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)230-235
Number of pages6
JournalMRS Bulletin
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-520-40227


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