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31 January 2014 Quantum-engineered interband cascade photovoltaic devices
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Quantum-engineered multiple stage photovoltaic (PV) devices are explored based on InAs/GaSb/AlSb interband cascade (IC) structures. These ICPV devices employ multiple discrete absorbers that are connected in series by widebandgap unipolar barriers using type-II heterostructure interfaces for facilitating carrier transport between cascade stages similar to IC lasers. The discrete architecture is beneficial for improving the collection efficiency and for spectral splitting by utilizing absorbers with different bandgaps. As such, the photo-voltages from each individual cascade stage in an ICPV device add together, creating a high overall open-circuit voltage, similar to conventional multi-junction tandem solar cells. Furthermore, photo-generated carriers can be collected with nearly 100% efficiency in each stage. This is because the carriers travel over only a single cascade stage, designed to be shorter than a typical diffusion length. The approach is of significant importance for operation at high temperatures where the diffusion length is reduced. Here, we will present our recent progress in the study of ICPV devices, which includes the demonstration of ICPV devices at room temperature and above with narrow bandgaps (e.g. 0.23 eV) and high open-circuit voltages.
© (2014) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Rui Q. Yang, Hossein Lotfi, Lu Li, Robert T. Hinkey, Hao Ye, John F. Klem, L. Lei, T. D. Mishima, J. C. Keay, M. B. Santos, and M. B. Johnson "Quantum-engineered interband cascade photovoltaic devices", Proc. SPIE 8993, Quantum Sensing and Nanophotonic Devices XI, 899310 (31 January 2014);

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