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Proceedings Paper

Simulation of the indium-phosphide-based solar cell
Author(s): S. H. Pulko; N. M. Pearsall; A. I. Hurst
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Paper Abstract

Solar cells are, in their simplest form, large area p-n junctions. Light falls upon the upper surface, is absorbed, and generates electron-hole pairs which are separated by the electric field associated with the depletion region. The performance of a solar cell is generally believed to be closely related to the precise nature of the surfaces and interfaces involved. The nature of the surfaces and interfaces is in turn related to the exact conditions under which the cell was fabricated. Traditionally the optimum production conditions have been determined directly and empirically, and the influence of the precise nature of the cell on its performance has not been a matter of major concern. This approach has met with considerable success for several types of cell. However some applications make stringent demands on solar cells. An example of this would be the long operating lifetimes required of solar cells used in space environments where radiation tends to cause degradation. For this type of application more exotic semiconductors are of interest. The high cost of these materials means that empirical methods for optimising fabrication conditions are not viable and models have been developed to predict the optimum cell structure. Most models operate by solution of the transport equations(1 ). The model described here is based on the Transmission Line Matrix (TLM) method which is a technique of transient analysis. An iterative technique has been chosen since it gives the greatest flexibility to incorporate spacial variations in parameters. Of iterative techniques available, TLM has many advantages in terms of implementation as well as being rather more accessible to non-mathematicians In this case the particular cell of interest is the ITO-InP based solar cell. In this structure the rf- sputtered ITO film acts as a transparent conductor and a shallow p-n junction exists within the single crystal InP(2,3).

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 August 1990
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 1272, Optical Materials Technology for Energy Efficiency and Solar Energy Conversion IX, (1 August 1990); doi: 10.1117/12.20434
Show Author Affiliations
S. H. Pulko, Univ. of Hull (United Kingdom)
N. M. Pearsall, Newcastle-upon-Tyne Polytechnic (United Kingdom)
A. I. Hurst, Univ. of Hull (United Kingdom)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1272:
Optical Materials Technology for Energy Efficiency and Solar Energy Conversion IX
Claes-Goeran Granqvist; Carl M. Lampert, Editor(s)

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