A new class of cascade high-efficiency photovoltaics designed for space-based applications is proposed. The design improves upper subcell performance and avoids electrical and optical losses associated with an intercell ohmic contact. Multijunction upper subcells reduce bulk recombination of photogenerated minority carriers by decreasing the average collection distance, yielding improved spectral response and radiation tolerance. A three-terminal design is employed which circumvents the need for a monolithic intercell contact and, thus, the losses associated with such a contact. Problems related to array interconnection of three-terminal devices may be solved by creating a two-terminal cell from complementary pairs (n-p-n and p-n-p) of three-terminal cells. Simulations of lattice-matched AlGaAs-GaAs and lattice-mismatched AlGaAs-InGaAs cascade cells show that one-sun AM0 efficiencies in excess of 26% and 28%, respectively, are possible.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)