Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Heterosubstrate Illumination Effects in III–V Solar Cells

Published

Author(s)

Brianna Conrad, Behrang Hamadani

Abstract

Reference cell-based current versus voltage ( I–V ) measurements assume that the effect of an illumination spectrum on a solar cell's performance can be fully captured by the multiplication of the spectrum with the device's spectral response and subsequent integration. This is based on a fundamental understanding that subbandgap light will be minimally absorbed, if at all, in the active layers of the solar cell and therefore not contribute to the power generation. In this work we show a novel phenomenon in which illumination of the substrate is required for good performance in solar cells with III–V active layers and germanium substrates, despite negligible contribution to the short circuit current or open circuit voltage, or increase of generated power beyond that expected from the III–V junction. Discovered in the course of characterizing cells for low-light conditions, we confirm the observation with additional I–V and electroluminescence measurements and modeling that reproduces experimental results. This phenomenon has implications for device characterization under nonstandard light sources, the development of solar cells for conditions lacking long-wavelength light such as indoor photovoltaics under light-emitting diode illumination, and the prediction of device performance under spectra that differ from the test conditions.
Citation
IEEE Journal of Photovoltaics
Volume
12
Issue
3

Keywords

Solar Cells, IV Curve Measurements, III-V Materials

Citation

Conrad, B. and Hamadani, B. (2022), Heterosubstrate Illumination Effects in III–V Solar Cells, IEEE Journal of Photovoltaics, [online], https://doi.org/10.1109/JPHOTOV.2022.3144102 (Accessed April 23, 2024)
Created February 16, 2022, Updated February 28, 2024