Single-junction GaAs solar cells have been studied extensively recently, and have reached over 28% efficiency. Further improvement requires an optically thick but physically thin absorbing layer to provide not only high open-circuit voltage but also large short-circuit current. This paper studies various optical designs, such as light scattering and reflection at various surfaces. It is concluded that thin GaAs solar cells with hundreds of nanometers thickness and the combination of textured surfaces and reflective back surfaces can potentially offer efficiencies greater than 30% under one sun AM1.5G solar spectrum. A practical approach is proposed to realize these structures by roughening a lattice-matched ZnSe layer grown on the device. The achievable efficiencies of all these structures are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProgram - 38th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, PVSC 2012
Number of pages6
StatePublished - Nov 26 2012
Event38th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, PVSC 2012 - Austin, TX, United States
Duration: Jun 3 2012Jun 8 2012

Publication series

NameConference Record of the IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference
ISSN (Print)0160-8371


Other38th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, PVSC 2012
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityAustin, TX


  • absorption
  • gallium arsenide
  • optical design
  • photovoltaic cells
  • surface roughness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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