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Molecular beam epitaxy growth of germanium junctions for multi-junction solar cell applications

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Molecular beam epitaxy growth of germanium junctions for multi-junction solar cell applications

2018-04-13

We report on the molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) growth and device characteristics of Ge solar cells. Integrating a Ge bottom cell beneath a lattice-matched triple junction stack grown by MBE could enable ultra-high efficiencies without metamorphic growth or wafer bonding. However, a diffused junction cannot be readily formed in Ge by MBE due to the low sticking coefficient of group-V molecules on Ge surfaces. We therefore realized Ge junctions by growth of homo-epitaxial n-Ge on p-Ge wafers within a standard III–V MBE system. We then fabricated Ge solar cells, finding growth temperature and post-growth annealing to be key factors for achieving high efficiency. Open-circuit voltage and fill factor values of ~0.175 V and ~0.59 without a window layer were obtained, both of which are comparable to diffused Ge junctions formed by metal-organic vapor phase epitaxy. We also demonstrate growth of high-quality, single-domain GaAs on the Ge junction, as needed for subsequent growth of III–V subcells, and that the surface passivation afforded by the GaAs layer slightly improves the Ge cell performance.

Source:IOPscience


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