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Published March 2020 | public
Journal Article

Nanowire Solar Cells: A New Radiation Hard PV Technology for Space Applications


Radiation hard thin-film solar cell technologies are necessary in order to achieve a step forward in the specific power of solar arrays for space applications. In this article, we analyze the degradation of nanowire (NW) solar cells under high energy particles. GaAs NW solar cells have been irradiated with protons of 100 and 350 keV at different fluences. The radiation hardness of the NW solar cells in all the cases is remarkable in comparison with GaAs planar solar cells and prior literature. Design guidelines to optimize the specific power of NW solar cells for space applications by jointly increasing their efficiency and radiation hardness are presented.

Additional Information

© 2020 IEEE. Manuscript received June 20, 2019; revised December 16, 2019; accepted January 7, 2020. Date of publication January 31, 2020; date of current version February 19, 2020. This work was supported in part by Northrop Grumman, in part by the Space Solar Power Project, in part by Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, and in part by the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme underGrant 641023 (Nano-Tandem) and under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Grant 656208. The work performed within NanoLund was supported by the Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet), Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research (SSF), and Swedish Energy Agency. This article reflects only the authors' views and the funding agency is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains. The authors acknowledge the helpful contributions of J. V. Lloyd with the solar cell processing of the ELO GaAs solar cells at Caltech. They also acknowledge The Aerospace Corporation for the irradiation test with protons.

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August 19, 2023
October 19, 2023