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Title: Identification of the limiting factors for high-temperature GaAs, GaInP, and AlGaInP solar cells from device and carrier lifetime analysis

Abstract

We analyze the temperature-dependent dark saturation current density and open-circuit voltage (VOC) for GaAs, GaInP, and AlGaInP solar cells from 25 to 400 degrees C. As expected, the intrinsic carrier concentration, ni, dominates the temperature dependence of the dark currents. However, at 400 degrees C, we measure VOC that is ~50 mV higher for the GaAs solar cell and ~60-110 mV lower for the GaInP and AlGaInP solar cells compared to what would be expected from commonly used solar cell models that consider only the ni2 temperature dependence. To better understand these deviations, we measure the carrier lifetimes of p-type GaAs, GaInP, and AlGaInP double heterostructures (DHs) from 25 to 400 degrees C using time-resolved photoluminescence. Temperature-dependent minority carrier lifetimes are analyzed to determine the relative contributions of the radiative recombination, interface recombination, Shockley-Read-Hall recombination, and thermionic emission processes. We find that radiative recombination dominates for the GaAs DHs with the effective lifetime approximately doubling as the temperature is increased from 25 degrees C to 400 degrees C. In contrast, we find that thermionic emission dominates for the GaInP and AlGaInP DHs at elevated temperatures, leading to a 3-4x reduction in the effective lifetime and ~40x increase in the surfacemore » recombination velocity as the temperature is increased from 25 degrees C to 400 degrees C. These observations suggest that optimization of the minority carrier confinement layers for the GaInP and AlGaInP solar cells could help to improve VOC and solar cell efficiency at elevated temperatures. We demonstrate VOC improvement at 200-400 degrees C in GaInP solar cells fabricated with modified AlGaInP window and back surface field layers.« less

Authors:
 [1]; ORCiD logo [1];  [1];  [1];  [1]
  1. National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy (ARPA-E)
OSTI Identifier:
1416721
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1414035
Report Number(s):
NREL/JA-5900-70767
Journal ID: ISSN 0021-8979
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC36-08GO28308; AR0000508
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of Applied Physics
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 122; Journal Issue: 23; Journal ID: ISSN 0021-8979
Publisher:
American Institute of Physics (AIP)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
14 SOLAR ENERGY; 71 CLASSICAL AND QUANTUM MECHANICS, GENERAL PHYSICS; semiconductors; electric currents; thermionic emission; electrical properties; solar cells

Citation Formats

Perl, E. E., Kuciauskas, D., Simon, J., Friedman, D. J., and Steiner, M. A. Identification of the limiting factors for high-temperature GaAs, GaInP, and AlGaInP solar cells from device and carrier lifetime analysis. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1063/1.5003631.
Perl, E. E., Kuciauskas, D., Simon, J., Friedman, D. J., & Steiner, M. A. Identification of the limiting factors for high-temperature GaAs, GaInP, and AlGaInP solar cells from device and carrier lifetime analysis. United States. doi:10.1063/1.5003631.
Perl, E. E., Kuciauskas, D., Simon, J., Friedman, D. J., and Steiner, M. A. Thu . "Identification of the limiting factors for high-temperature GaAs, GaInP, and AlGaInP solar cells from device and carrier lifetime analysis". United States. doi:10.1063/1.5003631. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1416721.
@article{osti_1416721,
title = {Identification of the limiting factors for high-temperature GaAs, GaInP, and AlGaInP solar cells from device and carrier lifetime analysis},
author = {Perl, E. E. and Kuciauskas, D. and Simon, J. and Friedman, D. J. and Steiner, M. A.},
abstractNote = {We analyze the temperature-dependent dark saturation current density and open-circuit voltage (VOC) for GaAs, GaInP, and AlGaInP solar cells from 25 to 400 degrees C. As expected, the intrinsic carrier concentration, ni, dominates the temperature dependence of the dark currents. However, at 400 degrees C, we measure VOC that is ~50 mV higher for the GaAs solar cell and ~60-110 mV lower for the GaInP and AlGaInP solar cells compared to what would be expected from commonly used solar cell models that consider only the ni2 temperature dependence. To better understand these deviations, we measure the carrier lifetimes of p-type GaAs, GaInP, and AlGaInP double heterostructures (DHs) from 25 to 400 degrees C using time-resolved photoluminescence. Temperature-dependent minority carrier lifetimes are analyzed to determine the relative contributions of the radiative recombination, interface recombination, Shockley-Read-Hall recombination, and thermionic emission processes. We find that radiative recombination dominates for the GaAs DHs with the effective lifetime approximately doubling as the temperature is increased from 25 degrees C to 400 degrees C. In contrast, we find that thermionic emission dominates for the GaInP and AlGaInP DHs at elevated temperatures, leading to a 3-4x reduction in the effective lifetime and ~40x increase in the surface recombination velocity as the temperature is increased from 25 degrees C to 400 degrees C. These observations suggest that optimization of the minority carrier confinement layers for the GaInP and AlGaInP solar cells could help to improve VOC and solar cell efficiency at elevated temperatures. We demonstrate VOC improvement at 200-400 degrees C in GaInP solar cells fabricated with modified AlGaInP window and back surface field layers.},
doi = {10.1063/1.5003631},
journal = {Journal of Applied Physics},
number = 23,
volume = 122,
place = {United States},
year = {2017},
month = {12}
}

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Figures / Tables:

FIG. 1 FIG. 1: Device schematic of the GaAs, GaInP, and AlGaInP solar cells showing the nominal room-temperature bandgaps, thicknesses, and structure of the epitaxially grown layers. The diagram is not to scale.

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