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1 October 2009 Nanostructured photovoltaics for space power
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Quantum dot enhanced solar cells have been evaluated both theoretically and experimentally. A detailed balance simulation of InAs quantum dot (QD) enhanced solar cells has been performed. A 14% (absolute) efficiency improvement has been predicted if the middle junction of a state-of-the-art space multi-junction III-V solar cell can be bandgap engineered using QDs. Experimental results for a GaAs middle junction enhanced with InAs QDs have shown an 8% increase in short circuit current compared to a baseline device. The current enhancement per layer of QD was extracted from device spectral response (0.017 mA per QD layer). This value was used to estimate the efficiency of multi-junction solar cells with up to 200 layers of QDs added to the middle current-limiting junction. In addition, the radiation tolerance of QD cells, key to operation of these cells in space environments, shows improved characteristics. Open circuit voltage (VOC) in QD devices was more resilient to both alpha and proton displacement damage, resulting in a 10X reduction in the rate of VOC degradation.
Seth Hubbard, Christopher Bailey, Stephen Polly, Cory D. Cress, John Andersen, David V. Forbes, and Ryne P. Raffaelle "Nanostructured photovoltaics for space power," Journal of Nanophotonics 3(1), 031880 (1 October 2009).
Published: 1 October 2009

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