This paper reports the proposal, design, and demonstration of ultra-thin GaAs single-junction solar cells integrated with a reflective back scattering layer to optimize light management and minimize non-radiative recombination. According to our recently developed semi-analytical model, this design offers one of the highest potential achievable efficiencies for GaAs solar cells possessing typical non-radiative recombination rates found among commercially available III-V arsenide and phosphide materials. The structure of the demonstrated solar cells consists of an In0.49Ga0.51P/ GaAs/In0.49Ga0.51P double-heterostructure PN junction with an ultra-thin 300 nm thick GaAs absorber, combined with a 5 μm thick Al 0.52In0.48P layer with a textured as-grown surface coated with Au used as a reflective back scattering layer. The final devices were fabricated using a substrate-removal and flip-chip bonding process. Solar cells with a top metal contact coverage of 9.7%, and a MgF2/ZnS anti-reflective coating demonstrated open-circuit voltages (Voc) up to 1.00 V, short-circuit current densities (Jsc) up to 24.5 mA/cm2, and power conversion efficiencies up to 19.1%; demonstrating the feasibility of this design approach. If a commonly used 2% metal grid coverage is assumed, the anticipated Jsc and conversion efficiency of these devices are expected to reach 26.6 mA/cm2 and 20.7%, respectively.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)