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Multijunction solar cell efficiencies: effect of spectral window, optical environment and radiative coupling

Eisler, Carissa N. and Abrams, Ze’ev R. and Sheldon, Matthew T. and Zhang, Xiang and Atwater, Harry A. (2014) Multijunction solar cell efficiencies: effect of spectral window, optical environment and radiative coupling. Energy and Environmental Science, 7 (11). pp. 3600-3605. ISSN 1754-5692. doi:10.1039/c4ee01060d.

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Solar cell efficiency is maximized through multijunction architectures that minimize carrier thermalization and increase absorption. Previous proposals suggest that the maximum efficiency for a finite number of subcells is achieved for designs that optimize for light trapping over radiative coupling. We instead show that structures with radiative coupling and back reflectors for light trapping, e.g. spectrum-splitting cells, can achieve higher conversion efficiencies. We model a compatible geometry, the polyhedral specular reflector. We analyze and experimentally verify the effects of spectral window and radiative coupling on voltage and power. Our results indicate that radiative coupling with back reflectors leads to higher efficiencies than previously studied architectures for practical multijunction architectures (i.e., ≤20 subcells).

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription DOIArticle
Eisler, Carissa N.0000-0002-5755-5280
Sheldon, Matthew T.0000-0002-4940-7966
Zhang, Xiang0000-0003-4004-5185
Atwater, Harry A.0000-0001-9435-0201
Additional Information:© 2014 The Royal Society of Chemistry. Received 3rd April 2014; Accepted 15th July 2014; First published online 04 Sep 2014. This work is part of the ‘Light–Material Interactions in Energy Conversion’ Energy Frontier Research Center funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences under Award Number DE-SC0001293. C. N. Eisler was supported by the Department of Defense (DoD) through the National Defense Science & Engineering Graduate Fellowship (NDSEG) Program. The authors wish to thank E. Kosten and E. Warmann for invaluable discussion as well as B. Kayes and Alta Devices for providing the GaAs cells used in this study.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Department of Energy (DOE)DE-SC0001293
National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) FellowshipUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:11
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20141204-091432828
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:52375
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:04 Dec 2014 20:49
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 19:40

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