Improved Performance of GaInNAs Solar Cells Grown by Molecular-Beam Epitaxy Using Increased Growth Rate Instead of Surfactants

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Abstract

GaInNAs is potentially useful for increasing the conversion efficiency of multijunction solar cells if low photocurrents and photovoltages can be increased. Wide-depletion width devices generate significant photocurrents using an n-i-p structure grown by molecular-beam epitaxy, but these wide depletion widths are only realized in a region of parameter space that leads to rough surface morphologies. Surfactants are effective at reducing the surface roughness, but lead to increased defect densities and changes in the net acceptor or donor concentration. Here, we show that increasing the growth rate of GaInNAs solar cells leads to smooth surfaces without the use of a surfactant, even at high In compositions and substrate temperatures. No degradation in material quality is observed when increasing the growth rate from 1.5 to 3.0 μm/h, but a shunt resistance does appear for the high-growth-rate samples. This shunt is attributed to increased spitting of the Ga cell, leading to an increase in the oval defect density, at the higher effusion cell temperatures used to achieve high growth rates. As with the case of Bi in GaInNAs, increased growth rates also appear to increase the net donor concentration, but it is not clear if these effects have the same cause.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1876-1880
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Crystal Growth
Volume311
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - 2009

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-520-43823

Keywords

  • A1. Roughening
  • A1. Segregation
  • A3. Molecular-beam epitaxy
  • B2. Semiconducting III-V materials
  • B3. Solar cells

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