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Title: Photovoltaic and thermophotovoltaic devices with quantum barriers

Abstract

A photovoltaic or thermophotovoltaic device includes a diode formed by p-type material and n-type material joined at a p-n junction and including a depletion region adjacent to said p-n junction, and a quantum barrier disposed near or in the depletion region of the p-n junction so as to decrease device reverse saturation current density while maintaining device short circuit current density. In one embodiment, the quantum barrier is disposed on the n-type material side of the p-n junction and decreases the reverse saturation current density due to electrons while in another, the barrier is disposed on the p-type material side of the p-n junction and decreases the reverse saturation current density due to holes. In another embodiment, both types of quantum barriers are used.

Inventors:
 [1]
  1. Jefferson Hills, PA
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Bettis Atomic Power Laboratory (BAPL), West Mifflin, PA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
902759
Patent Number(s):
7,202,411
Application Number:
10/426,802
Assignee:
United States of America Department of Energy (Washington, DC) BAPL
DOE Contract Number:
AC11-93PN38195
Resource Type:
Patent
Resource Relation:
Patent File Date: 2003 May 01
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
42 ENGINEERING; 36 MATERIALS SCIENCE

Citation Formats

Wernsman, Bernard R. Photovoltaic and thermophotovoltaic devices with quantum barriers. United States: N. p., 2007. Web.
Wernsman, Bernard R. Photovoltaic and thermophotovoltaic devices with quantum barriers. United States.
Wernsman, Bernard R. Tue . "Photovoltaic and thermophotovoltaic devices with quantum barriers". United States. doi:. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/902759.
@article{osti_902759,
title = {Photovoltaic and thermophotovoltaic devices with quantum barriers},
author = {Wernsman, Bernard R},
abstractNote = {A photovoltaic or thermophotovoltaic device includes a diode formed by p-type material and n-type material joined at a p-n junction and including a depletion region adjacent to said p-n junction, and a quantum barrier disposed near or in the depletion region of the p-n junction so as to decrease device reverse saturation current density while maintaining device short circuit current density. In one embodiment, the quantum barrier is disposed on the n-type material side of the p-n junction and decreases the reverse saturation current density due to electrons while in another, the barrier is disposed on the p-type material side of the p-n junction and decreases the reverse saturation current density due to holes. In another embodiment, both types of quantum barriers are used.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Tue Apr 10 00:00:00 EDT 2007},
month = {Tue Apr 10 00:00:00 EDT 2007}
}

Patent:

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  • Efficient thermophotovoltaic conversion can be performed using photovoltaic devices with a band gap in the 0.75-1.4 electron volt range, and selective infrared emitters chosen from among the rare earth oxides which are thermally stimulated to emit infrared radiation whose energy very largely corresponds to the aforementioned band gap. It is possible to use thermovoltaic devices operating at relatively high temperatures, up to about 300.degree. C., without seriously impairing the efficiency of energy conversion.
  • Low bandgap photovoltaic devices are required for the development of thermophotovoltaic power conversion at moderate temperatures. The authors have produced In{sub x}Ga{sub 1{minus}x}As photovoltaic n/p devices on InP with bandgaps ranging from 0.75 eV to 0.60 eV. Testing under a filtered 1,500 K blackbody emitter, the 0.75 eV displayed an 18.3% conversion efficiency and the 0.60 eV device had a 6% efficiency. The devices were also tested at temperatures ranging from 25 C to 100 C. The temperature coefficient of output power increased dramatically as the bandgap decreased. Testing under rare-earth doped YAG selective emitters demonstrated the ability of thesemore » emitters to produce narrow spectral emissions.« less
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  • A thin film stack (100, 200) is provided for use in electronic devices such as photovoltaic devices. The stack (100, 200) may be integrated with a substrate (110) such as a light transmitting/transmissive layer. A electrical conductor layer (120, 220) is formed on a surface of the substrate (110) or device layer such as a transparent conducting (TC) material layer (120,220) with pin holes or defects (224) caused by manufacturing. The stack (100) includes a thin film (130, 230) of metal that acts as a barrier for environmental contaminants (226, 228). The metal thin film (130,230) is deposited on themore » conductor layer (120, 220) and formed from a self-healing metal such as a metal that forms self-terminating oxides. A permeation plug or block (236) is formed in or adjacent to the thin film (130, 230) of metal at or proximate to the pin holes (224) to block further permeation of contaminants through the pin holes (224).« less