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Photovoltaic reciprocity and quasi-Fermi level splitting in nanostructure-based solar cells (Conference Presentation)
Author(s): Urs Aeberhard
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Paper Abstract

The photovoltaic reciprocity theory relates the electroluminescence spectrum of a solar cell under applied bias to the external photovoltaic quantum efficiency of the device as measured at short circuit conditions [1]. So far, the theory has been verified for a wide range of devices and material systems and forms the basis of a growing number of luminesecence imaging techniques used in the characterization of photovoltaic materials, cells and modules [2–5]. However, there are also some examples where the theory fails, such as in the case of amorphous silicon. In our contribution, we critically assess the assumptions made in the derivation of the theory and compare its predictions with rigorous formal relations as well as numerical computations in the framework of a comprehensive quantum-kinetic theory of photovoltaics [6] as applied to ultra-thin absorber architectures [7]. One of the main applications of the photovoltaic reciprocity relation is the determination of quasi-Fermi level splittings (QFLS) in solar cells from the measurement of luminescence. In nanostructure-based photovoltaic architectures, the determination of QFLS is challenging, but instrumental to assess the performance potential of the concepts. Here, we use our quasi-Fermi level-free theory to investigate existence and size of QFLS in quantum well and quantum dot solar cells. [1] Uwe Rau. Reciprocity relation between photovoltaic quantum efficiency and electrolumines- cent emission of solar cells. Phys. Rev. B, 76(8):085303, 2007. [2] Thomas Kirchartz and Uwe Rau. Electroluminescence analysis of high efficiency cu(in,ga)se2 solar cells. J. Appl. Phys., 102(10), 2007. [3] Thomas Kirchartz, Uwe Rau, Martin Hermle, Andreas W. Bett, Anke Helbig, and Jrgen H. Werner. Internal voltages in GaInP-GaInAs-Ge multijunction solar cells determined by electro- luminescence measurements. Appl. Phys. Lett., 92(12), 2008. [4] Thomas Kirchartz, Anke Helbig, Wilfried Reetz, Michael Reuter, Jürgen H. Werner, and Uwe Rau. Reciprocity between electroluminescence and quantum efficiency used for the characterization of silicon solar cells. Prog. Photovolt: Res. Appl., 17(6):394–402, 2009. [5] U. Hoyer, M. Wagner, Th. Swonke, J. Bachmann, R. Auer, A. Osvet, and C. J. Brabec. Electroluminescence imaging of organic photovoltaic modules. Appl. Phys. Lett., 97(23), 2010. [6] U. Aeberhard. Theory and simulation of quantum photovoltaic devices based on the non-equilibrium Greens function formalism. J. Comput. Electron., 10:394–413, 2011. [7] U. Aeberhard. Simulation of ultrathin solar cells beyond the limits of the semiclassical bulk picture. IEEE J. Photovolt., 6(3):654–660, 2016.

Paper Details

Date Published: 19 April 2017
PDF: 1 pages
Proc. SPIE 10099, Physics, Simulation, and Photonic Engineering of Photovoltaic Devices VI, 100990W (19 April 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2251221
Show Author Affiliations
Urs Aeberhard, Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH (Germany)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10099:
Physics, Simulation, and Photonic Engineering of Photovoltaic Devices VI
Alexandre Freundlich; Laurent Lombez; Masakazu Sugiyama, Editor(s)

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