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Home > News > Boosting solar-cell efficiency with quantum-dot-based nanotechnology

February 15th, 2010

Boosting solar-cell efficiency with quantum-dot-based nanotechnology

Abstract:
Inserting indium arsenide quantum dots into crystalline III-V semiconductor-based photovoltaics results in both enhanced short-circuit current and improved efficiency.

The Rochester Institute of Technology's NanoPower Research Laboratories (NPRL) have made significant advances in this area by developing new nanomaterials and devices. We have engineered III-V-type solar cells to take advantage of the extended absorption spectrum of lower-bandgap heterostructures (such as QDs) inserted into the current-limiting junction of an MJSC. The larger absorption spectrum of the nanostructures enhances the overall short-circuit current and global efficiency of the cell. Models of an indium gallium phosphide (InGaP)/indium gallium arsenide (InGaAs)/germanium (Ge) triple-junction solar cell, in which QDs extend the middle junction's absorption spectrum, indicate that we could raise the theoretical limiting efficiency to 47% under one sun illumination. These devices may also have additional benefits, such as enhanced radiation tolerance and temperature coefficients.

Source:
spie.org

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