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Title: Interband Cascade Photovoltaic Cells

In this project, we are performing basic and applied research to systematically investigate our newly proposed interband cascade (IC) photovoltaic (PV) cells [1]. These cells follow from the great success of infrared IC lasers [2-3] that pioneered the use of quantum-engineered IC structures. This quantum-engineered approach will enable PV cells to efficiently convert infrared radiation from the sun or other heat source, to electricity. Such cells will have important applications for more efficient use of solar energy, waste-heat recovery, and power beaming in combination with mid-infrared lasers. The objectives of our investigations are to: achieve extensive understanding of the fundamental aspects of the proposed PV structures, develop the necessary knowledge for making such IC PV cells, and demonstrate prototype working PV cells. This research will focus on IC PV structures and their segments for utilizing infrared radiation with wavelengths from 2 to 5 μm, a range well suited for emission by heat sources (1,000-2,000 K) that are widely available from combustion systems. The long-term goal of this project is to push PV technology to longer wavelengths, allowing for relatively low-temperature thermal sources. Our investigations address material quality, electrical and optical properties, and their interplay for the different regions of anmore » IC PV structure. The tasks involve: design, modeling and optimization of IC PV structures, molecular beam epitaxial growth of PV structures and relevant segments, material characterization, prototype device fabrication and testing. At the end of this program, we expect to generate new cutting-edge knowledge in the design and understanding of quantum-engineered semiconductor structures, and demonstrate the concepts for IC PV devices with high conversion efficiencies.« less
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  1. Univ. of Oklahoma, Norman, OK (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Univ. of Oklahoma, Norman, OK (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
Contributing Orgs:
Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, NM (United States)
Country of Publication:
United States
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE semiconductor heterostructures; narrow bandgaps; photovoltaics