High-Efficiency Solar Cell Concepts: Physics, Materials, and Devices

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Over the past three decades, significant progress has been made in the area of high-efficiency multijunction solar cells, with the effort primarily directed at current-matched solar cells in tandem. The key materials issues here have been obtaining semiconductors with the required bandgaps for sequential absorption of light in the solar spectrum and that are lattice matched to readily availablesubstrates. The GaInP/GaAs/Ge cell is a striking example of success achieved in this area. Recently, several new approaches for high-efficiency solar cell design have emerged, that involve novel methods for tailoring alloy bandgaps, as well as alternate technologies for hetero-epitaxy of III-V's on Si. The advantages and difficulties expected to be encountered with each approach will bediscussed, addressing both the materials issues and device physics whilst contrasting them with other fourth-generation solar cell concepts.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages5
StatePublished - 2005
Event2004 DOE Solar Energy Technologies Program Review Meeting - Denver, Colorado
Duration: 25 Oct 200428 Oct 2004


Conference2004 DOE Solar Energy Technologies Program Review Meeting
CityDenver, Colorado

Bibliographical note

Presented at the 2004 DOE Solar Energy Technologies Program Review Meeting, 25-28 October 2004, Denver, Colorado. Also included in the proceedings available on CD-ROM (DOE/GO-102005-2067; NREL/CD-520-37140)

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-590-37079


  • bandgap
  • devices
  • high-efficiency
  • isoelectronic dopant
  • lattice constant
  • PV solar cells
  • valence-band maximum


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