InP- and GaAs-Based 0.6 eV GaInAs Devices for Thermophotovoltaics and Laser Power Conversion

Research output: NRELPresentation


Emerging applications such as thermal energy grid storage, waste heat recovery and portable power generation require efficient thermophotovoltaic (TPV) converters tuned to temperatures near 1000 Degrees Celsius or below. Metamorphic GaInAs with larger lattice constants than InP present a promising option for these needs. The ability to grow these devices on GaAs substrates instead of more expensive InP would enhance the scalability of these devices. In this talk, we present inverted metamorphic Ga0.3In0.7As photovoltaic converters with sub-0.60 eV bandgaps grown on InP and GaAs substrates. These devices are realized using InAsP or GaInP/InAsP compositionally graded buffers which exhibit threading dislocation densities of 1.3 +/- 0.6 x 106 cm-2 and 8.9 +/- 1.7 x 106 cm-2 on InP and GaAs, respectively. Despite this difference in defect density, the devices generate similar open-circuit voltages of 0.386 V and 0.383 V, respectively, under irradiance producing a short-circuit current density of -10 A/cm2, with bandgap-voltage offsets of 0.20 and 0.21 V. We estimate their thermophotovoltaic efficiency using these measurements coupled with broadband reflectance measurments. The InP-based cell is estimated to yield 1.09 W/cm2 at 1100 Degrees Celsius vs. 0.92 W/cm2 for the GaAs-based cell, with TPV efficiencies of 16.8 vs. 9.2%. Both devices are limited by sub-bandgap absorption, which we assess largely occurs in the graded buffers. We estimate that the 1100 Degrees Celsius thermophotovoltaic efficiencies would increase to 24.0% and 20.7% in structures with the graded buffer removed, if previously demonstrated reflectance is achieved. These devices also have application as laser power converters in the 2.0-2.3 um atmospheric window. We estimate efficiencies of 36.8% and 32.5% under 2.0 um monochromatic irradiance of 1.86 W/cm2 and 2.81 W/cm2, respectively.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages15
StatePublished - 2024

Publication series

NamePresented at the 52nd IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference (PVSC52), 9-14 June 2024, Seattle, Washington

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/PR-5900-88656


  • GaAs
  • inverted growth
  • laser power converters
  • PV
  • substrate reuse
  • thermal energy storage
  • thermophotovoltaic


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