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III-V-on-silicon solar cells reaching 33% photoconversion efficiency in two-terminal configuration

: Cariou, R.; Benick, J.; Feldmann, F.; Höhn, O.; Hauser, H.; Beutel, P.; Razek, N.; Wimplinger, M.; Bläsi, B.; Lackner, D.; Hermle, M.; Siefer, G.; Glunz, S.W.; Bett, A.W.; Dimroth, F.


Nature energy 3 (2018), pp.326-333
ISSN: 2058-7546
Journal Article
Fraunhofer ISE ()
Photovoltaik; Silicium-Photovoltaik; III-V und Konzentrator-Photovoltaik; III-V Epitaxie und Solarzellen; Silicium-Konzentratorsolarzelle

Silicon dominates the photovoltaic industry but the conversion efficiency of silicon single-junction solar cells is intrinsically constrained to 29.4%, and practically limited to around 27%. It is possible to overcome this limit by combining silicon with high-bandgap materials, such as III–V semiconductors, in a multi-junction device. Significant challenges associated with this material combination have hindered the development of highly efficient III–V/Si solar cells. Here, we demonstrate a III–V/Si cell reaching similar performances to standard III–V/Ge triple-junction solar cells. This device is fabricated using wafer bonding to permanently join a GaInP/GaAs top cell with a silicon bottom cell. The key issues of III–V/Si interface recombination and silicon's weak absorption are addressed using poly-silicon/SiO x passivating contacts and a novel rear-side diffraction grating for the silicon bottom cell. With these combined features, we demonstrate a two-terminal GaInP/GaAs//Si solar cell reaching a 1-sun AM1.5G conversion efficiency of 33.3%.