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Dispersive elements for spectrum splitting in solar cell applications

: Bielawny, A.; Miclea, P.-T.; Rhein, A.V.; Wehrspohn, R.B.; Riesen, S. van; Glunz, S.


Gombert, A. ; Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers -SPIE-, Europe, Cardiff:
Photonics for solar energy systems : 5 - 6 April 2006, Strasbourg, France. Photonics Europe
Bellingham, WA: SPIE, 2006 (SPIE Proceedings Series 6197)
ISBN: 0-8194-6253-5
Paper 619704
Photonics Europe Symposium <2006, Strasbourg>
Fraunhofer ISE ()

Photovoltaic tandem and triple solar cells are currently being developed and produced with reasonable efficiencies at high technological cost. The concept of spectrum splitting has been proposed with the advantage of compatibility to all types of cells. Although additional optical efforts are to be made, external photon management can be achieved to match different solar cell combinations no matter which band gaps involved or how the cells are connected. We present an experimental study comparing optical devices based on either interference or diffraction for tandem and triple cell configurations. Whereas diffractive media such as gratings suffer intrinsically from higher order diffraction losses, devices based on interference such as Bragg filter can yield a significant efficiency increase. For a triple cell configuration consisting of GalnP/GalnAs/GaSb, a net efficiency gain of more than 30 % is shown in a solar cell simulator compared to the best cell in direct light.