Multijunction devices consist of a stack of semiconductor junctions having bandgaps tuned across a broad spectrum. In solar cells this concept is used to increase the efficiency of photovoltaic harvesting, while light emitters and detectors use it to achieve multicolor and spectrally tunable behavior. In series-connected current-matched multijunction devices, the recombination layers must allow the hole current from one cell to recombine, with high efficiency and low voltage loss, with the electron current from the next cell. We recently reported a tandem solar cell in which the recombination layer was implemented using a progression of n-type oxides whose doping densities and work functions serve to connect, with negligible resistive loss at solar current densities, the constituent cells. Here we present the generalized conditions for design of efficient graded recombination layer solar devices. We report the number of interlayers and the requirements on work function and doping of each interlayer, to bridge an work function difference as high as 1.6 eV. We also find solutions that minimize the doping required of the interlayers in order to minimize optical absorption due to free carriers in the graded recombination layer (GRL). We demonstrate a family of new GRL designs experimentally and highlight the benefits of the progression of dopings and work functions in the interlayers. © 2012 American Chemical Society.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||7|
|State||Published - May 10 2012|