Raising the One-Sun Conversion Efficiency of III-V/Si Solar Cells to 32.8% for Two Junctions and 35.9% for Three Junctions

Adele Tamboli, John Geisz, David Young, Myles Steiner, Kelsey Horowitz, Michael Woodhouse, Stephanie Essig, Christophe Allebe, Lorris Barroud, Antoine Descoeudres, Matthieu Despeisse, Christophe Ballif, J. Ward, Manuel Schnabel, Timothy Remo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

424 Scopus Citations

Abstract

Today's dominant photovoltaic technologies rely on single-junction devices, which are approaching their practical efficiency limit of 25-27%. Therefore, researchers are increasingly turning to multi-junction devices, which consist of two or more stacked subcells, each absorbing a different part of the solar spectrum. Here, we show that dual-junction III-V//Sidevices with mechanically stacked, independently operated III-V and Si cells reach cumulative one-sun efficiencies up to 32.8%. Efficiencies up to 35.9% were achieved when combining a GaInP/GaAs dual-junction cell with a Si single-junction cell. These efficiencies exceed both the theoretical 29.4% efficiency limit of conventional Si technology and the efficiency of the record III-V dual-junction device (32.6%), highlighting the potential of Si-based multi-junction solar cells. However, techno-economic analysis reveals an order-of-magnitude disparity between the costs for III-V//Si tandem cells and conventional Si solar cells, which can be reduced if research advances in low-cost III-V growth techniques and new substrate materials are successful.

Original languageAmerican English
Article numberArticle No. 17144
Number of pages9
JournalNature Energy
Volume2
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - 25 Aug 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Macmillan Publishers Limited, part of Springer Nature. All rights reserved.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5J00-67270

Keywords

  • efficiency
  • photovoltaic cells
  • single-junction

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