From Event: SPIE Optics + Photonics for Sustainable Energy, 2016
The introduction of GaSb quantum dots (QDs) within a GaAs single junction solar cell is attracting increasing interest as a means of absorbing long wavelength photons to extend the photoresponse and increase the short-circuit current. The band alignment in this system is type-II, such that holes are localized within the GaSb QDs but there is no electron confinement. Compared to InAs QDs this produces a red-shift of the photoresponse which could increase the short-circuit current and improve carrier extraction. GaSb nanostructures grown by molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) tend to preferentially form quantum rings (QRs) which are less strained and contain fewer defects than the GaSb QDs, which means that they are more suitable for dense stacking in the active region of a solar cell to reduce the accumulation of internal strain and enhance light absorption. Here, we report the growth and fabrication of GaAs based p-i-n solar cells containing ten layers of GaSb QRs. They show extended long wavelength photoresponse into the near-IR up to 1400 nm and enhanced short-circuit current compared to the GaAs control cell due to absorption of low energy photons. Although enhancement of the short-circuit current was observed, the thermionic emission of holes was found to be insufficient for ideal operation at room temperature.
P. J. Carrington, D. Montesdeoca, H. Fujita, J. James, M. C. Wagener, J. R. Botha, A. R. J. Marshall, and A. Krier, "Type II GaSb/GaAs quantum rings with extended photoresponse for efficient solar cells," Proc. SPIE 9937, Next Generation Technologies for Solar Energy Conversion VII, 993708 (Presented at SPIE Optics + Photonics for Sustainable Energy: August 30, 2016; Published: 23 September 2016); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2236957.
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