Advanced Characterization of 1 eV GaInAs Inverted Metamorphic Solar Cells Articles uri icon

publication date

  • July 2023

start page

  • 1

end page

  • 13

issue

  • 14

volume

  • 16

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1996-1073

abstract

  • In this work, 1 eV Ga0.7In0.3As inverted metamorphic (IMM) solar cells were analyzed to achieve a deeper understanding of the mechanism limiting their improvement. For this purpose, high-resolution X-ray diffraction (HRXRD), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), high-resolution cross-sectional cathodoluminescence (CL), and transient in situ surface reflectance were carried out. Additionally, the photovoltaic responses of the complete devices were measured using the external quantum efficiency (EQE) and numerically simulated through Silvaco TCAD ATLAS. The combination of structural characterization of the semiconductor layers and measurements of the solar cell photovoltaic behavior, together with device modeling, allows us to conclude that the lifetime of the bulk minority carriers is the limiting factor influencing the PV response since the recombination at the interfaces (GaInP window┬┐GaInAs emitter and GaInAs base┬┐GaInP back surface field (BSF)) does not impact the carrier recombination due to the favorable alignment between the conduction and the valance bands. The advanced characterization using cross-sectional cathodoluminescence, together with transient in situ surface reflectance, allowed the rejection of the formation of traps related to the GaInAs growth conditions as being responsible for the decrement in the minority-carrier lifetime. Conversely, the TEM and HRXRD revealed that the presence of misfit dislocations in the GaInAs layer linked to strain relaxation, which were probably formed due to an excessive tensile strain in the virtual substrate or an incorrect combination of alloy compositions in the topmost layers, was the dominant factor influencing the GaInAs layer's quality. These results allow an understanding of the contributions of each characterization technique in the analysis of multi-junction solar cells.

subjects

  • Physics
  • Renewable Energies

keywords

  • high-resolution cross-sectional cathodoluminescence (cl); iii-v semiconductors; inverted metamorphic solar cells; transmission electron microscopy (tem)