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Multijunction Solar Cells on Epitaxial Templates


Archer, Melissa Jane (2008) Multijunction Solar Cells on Epitaxial Templates. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/9CFK-G982.


Future ultrahigh efficiency multijunction solar cells will employ designs that feature three or four or more subcells utilizing lattice-mismatched structures to achieve an optimal band gap sequence for solar energy conversion. While lattice-mismatched multijunction cells have been fabricated recently using metamorphic growth approaches, use of direct wafer bonding techniques to enable lattice mismatch accommodation at the subcell interfaces allows considerably more design freedom and inherently higher-quality, defect-free active regions. This thesis presents new results on wafer bonding and layer transfer for integration of materials with large lattice mismatch, as well as modeling work to better understand the key material parameters in the design of new multijunction solar cells.

GaInP/GaAs dual junction solar cells on Ge/Si templates were fabricated using wafer bonding and ion implantation induced layer transfer techniques. Following layer transfer, the surface of the ~1.4 um thick transferred Ge(100) has an as-transferred RMS roughness of ~20 nm and a near surface layer containing a high density of ion implantation-induced defects. The RMS roughness has been reduced to <1 nm. In addition, the effects of changing the strain state of the template substrate on the performance of the devices has been explored by comparing devices grown on Ge/Si and Ge/sapphire. The CTE mismatch between Si and GaAs/GaInP materials induces a tensile strain, whereas the sapphire substrate induces a compressive strain.

An analytical p-n junction device physics model for GaInP/GaAs/InGaAsP/InGaAs four junction solar cells was developed. Real behavior of solar cells is accounted for by including: free carrier absorption, temperature and doping effects on carrier mobility, as well as two recombination pathways: Shockley-Read-Hall recombination from a single mid gap trap level and surface recombination. Upper bounds set by detailed balance calculations can be approached by letting the parameters approach ideal conditions. Detailed balance calculations always benefit from added subcells, current matching requirements in series connected p-n multijunctions indicate a minimum performance required from added subcells for net contribution to the overall device. This model allows novel solar cell structures to be evaluated by providing realistic predictions of the performance limitations of these multijunction devices.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:III-V; layer transfer; wafer bonding
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Chemistry and Chemical Engineering
Major Option:Chemical Engineering
Minor Option:Applied Physics
Awards:Demetriades-Tsafka-Kokkalis Prize in Benign Renewable Energy Sources or Related Fields, 2008.
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Atwater, Harry Albert
Thesis Committee:
  • Atwater, Harry Albert (chair)
  • Lewis, Nathan Saul
  • Flagan, Richard C.
  • King, Richard
  • Haile, Sossina M.
Defense Date:8 May 2008
Record Number:CaltechETD:etd-05272008-103359
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:2170
Deposited By: Imported from ETD-db
Deposited On:02 Jun 2008
Last Modified:08 Nov 2023 00:12

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