Detailed balance efficiency limits with quasi-Fermi level variations

Stephen P. Bremner, Richard Corkish, Christiana Honsberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

57 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A central assumption in detailed balance efficiency limit calculations has been that the light generated carriers are collected by drift transport processes and have an infinite mobility, giving rise to constant quasi-Fermi levels (QFL's) across the solar cell. However, recent experimental and theoretical results for quantum well (QW) devices indicate that the QFL's need not be constant across the device. It is shown in this paper that transport mechanisms which cause a variation in the difference between the electron and hole QFL's give an increase in the limiting efficiency compared to previous detailed balance calculations. Further, QW solar cells which employ hot carrier transport across a well will have an efficiency limit in excess of a tandem solar cell while using the same number of semiconductor materials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1932-1939
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Transactions on Electron Devices
Volume46
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes

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Fermi level
Solar cells
solar cells
Semiconductor quantum wells
quantum wells
Hot carriers
Carrier transport
Semiconductor materials
Electrons
causes
electrons

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)

Cite this

Detailed balance efficiency limits with quasi-Fermi level variations. / Bremner, Stephen P.; Corkish, Richard; Honsberg, Christiana.

In: IEEE Transactions on Electron Devices, Vol. 46, No. 10, 1999, p. 1932-1939.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Bremner, Stephen P. ; Corkish, Richard ; Honsberg, Christiana. / Detailed balance efficiency limits with quasi-Fermi level variations. In: IEEE Transactions on Electron Devices. 1999 ; Vol. 46, No. 10. pp. 1932-1939.
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