Triple-Junction Solar Cells with 39.5% Terrestrial and 34.2% Space Efficiency Enabled by Thick Quantum Well Superlattices

Ryan France, John Geisz, Tao Song, Waldo Olavarria, Michelle Young, Alan Kibbler, Myles Steiner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

79 Scopus Citations

Abstract

Multijunction solar cell design is guided by both the theoretical optimal bandgap combination as well as the realistic limitations to materials with these bandgaps. For instance, triple-junction III-V multijunction solar cells commonly use GaAs as a middle cell because of its near-perfect material quality, despite its bandgap being higher than optimal for the global spectrum. Here, we modify the middle cell bandgap using thick GaInAs/GaAsP strain-balanced quantum well (QW) solar cells with excellent voltage and absorption. These high-performance QWs are incorporated into a triple-junction inverted metamorphic multijunction device consisting of a GaInP top cell, GaInAs/GaAsP QW middle cell, and lattice-mismatched GaInAs bottom cell, each of which has been highly optimized. We demonstrate triple-junction efficiencies of 39.5% and 34.2% under the AM1.5 global and AM0 space spectra, respectively, and the global efficiency is higher than previous record six-junction devices.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1121-1135
Number of pages15
JournalJoule
Volume6
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier Inc.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5900-82243

Keywords

  • high efficiency
  • metamorphic
  • multijunction solar cell
  • quantum well
  • space photovoltaics
  • superlattice

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