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Fluctuations of the peak current of tunnel diodes in multi-junction solar cells

: Jandieri, K.; Baranovskii, S.D.; Stolz, W.; Gebhard, F.; Guter, W.; Hermle, M.; Bett, A.W.


Journal of Physics. D. Applied Physics 42 (2009), Nr.15, Art. 155101, 8 S.
ISSN: 0022-3727
ISSN: 1361-6463
Fraunhofer ISE ()

Interband tunnel diodes are widely used to electrically interconnect the individual subcells in multi-junction solar cells. Tunnel diodes have to operate at high current densities and low voltages, especially when used in concentrator solar cells. They represent one of the most critical elements of multi-junction solar cells and the fluctuations of the peak current in the diodes have an essential impact on the performance and reliability of the devices. Recently we have found that GaAs tunnel diodes exhibit extremely high peak currents that can be explained by resonant tunnelling through defects homogeneously distributed in the junction. Experiments evidence rather large fluctuations of the peak current in the diodes fabricated from the same wafer. It is a challenging task to clarify the reason for such large fluctuations in order to improve the performance of the multi-junction solar cells. In this work we show that the large fluctuations of the peak current in tunnel diodes can be caused by relatively small fluctuations of the dopant concentration. We also show that the fluctuations of the peak current become smaller for deeper energy levels of the defects responsible for the resonant tunnelling.