Metamorphic III-V Solar Cells: Recent Progress and Potential

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Inverted metamorphic multijunction solar cells have been demonstrated to be a pathway to achieve the highest photovoltaic (PV) conversion efficiencies. Attaining high-quality lattice-mismatched (metamorphic) semiconductor devices is challenging. However, recent improvements to compositionally graded buffer epitaxy and junction structures have led to the achievement of high-quality metamorphic solar cells exhibiting internal luminescence efficiencies over 90%. For this high material quality, photon recycling is significant, and therefore, the optical environment of the solar cell becomes important. In this paper, we first present recent progress and performance results for 1- and 0.7-eV GaInAs solar cells grown on GaAs substrates. Then, an electrooptical model is used to assess the potential performance improvements in current metamorphic solar cells under different realizable design scenarios. The results show that the quality of 1-eV subcells is such that further improving its electronic quality does not produce significant Voc increases in the four-junction inverted metamorphic subcells, unless a back reflector is used to enhance photon recycling, which would significantly complicate the structure. Conversely, improving the electronic quality of the 0.7-eV subcell would lead to significant Voc boosts, driving the progress of four-junction inverted metamorphic solar cells.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number7349101
Pages (from-to)366-373
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Journal of Photovoltaics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2011-2012 IEEE.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5J00-67329


  • Dislocation density
  • epitaxy
  • III-V compound
  • luminescence efficiency
  • metamorphic
  • multijunction solar cell
  • photon recycling


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