Intermediate band solar cells promise improved efficiencies beyond the Shockley-Queisser limit by utilizing an intermediate band formed within the bandgap of a single junction solar cell. InP quantum dots (QDs) in an In0.49Ga0.51P host are a promising material system for this application, but two-step photon absorption has not yet been demonstrated. InP QDs were grown via metalorganic chemical vapor deposition, and a density, a diameter, and a height of 0.7 × 1010 cm−2, 56 ± 10 nm, and 18 ± 2.8 nm, respectively, were achieved. Time-resolved photoluminescence measurements show a long carrier lifetime of 240 ns, indicating a type-II band alignment of these InP quantum dots. Several n-i-p In0.49Ga0.51P solar cells were grown with both 3 and 5 layers of InP QDs in the i-region. While the solar cells showed an overall loss in short circuit current compared to reference cells due to emitter degradation, a sub-bandgap enhancement of 0.11 mA/cm2 was clearly observed, due to absorption and collection from the InP QDs. Finally, two-step photon absorption experiments have shown unambiguous photocurrent generation involving an intermediate band within the bandgap at temperatures up to 250 K.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors would like to acknowledge the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (Grant No. STTR FA9453-15-C-0404) for their support. The work in AIST was supported by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) under the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI).
© 2018 Author(s).
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)