III-V Solar Cells Grown on Unpolished and Reusable Spalled Ge Substrates

John Simon, Kevin Schulte, Steven Johnston, David Young, Aaron Ptak, Dustin Crouse, Sebastian Siol, Corinne Packard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus Citations


Substrate reuse offers a promising route toward enabling high-efficiency III-V solar cells to become cost-competitive for one-sun terrestrial applications. In this study, Ge films were spalled using an electroplated Ni stressor layer, and the fracture surface was characterized. Initial heteroepitaxial GaAs films grown on spalled Ge substrates by hydride vapor phase epitaxy were found to be single crystal with nearly equivalent growth rates between growth on epi-ready and unpolished spalled Ge substrates. We show the first demonstration of III-V solar cells (GaInAsP, Eg ∼ 1.7 eV) grown on unpolished spalled Ge substrates to assess the viability of substrate reuse. We demonstrate equivalent performance for a solar cell grown on spalled Ge and on a coloaded epi-ready Ge substrate, despite the residual roughness on the spalled Ge substrate and the lack of any substrate surface preparation. This initial demonstration of combining substrate reuse with the ability to grow III-V solar cells using a high growth rate and high throughput deposition process is a promising step toward low-cost III-V photovoltaics.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number8424817
Pages (from-to)1384-1389
Number of pages6
JournalIEEE Journal of Photovoltaics
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2011-2012 IEEE.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5J00-67844


  • high-growth rate
  • hydride vapor phase epitaxy (HVPE)
  • III-V semiconductor materials
  • spalling


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