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Proceedings Paper

High-efficiency quantum dot solar cells due to inter-dot n-doping
Author(s): K. A. Sablon; J. W. Little; V. Mitin; A. Sergeev; N. Vagidov; K. Reinhardt
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Paper Abstract

We investigated the effects of doping on the photovoltaic efficiency in a GaAs reference cell, and in undoped, n-doped, and p-doped InAs/GaAs quantum-dot (QD) solar cells. We found that the photovoltaic efficiency of the undoped QD solar cell is almost the same as that of the reference cell. However, the efficiency improves monotonically with increasing inter-dot ndoping, while p-doping deteriorates the photovoltaic conversion. We observed a 50 % increase in photovoltaic efficiency in the device n-doped to provide approximately six electrons per dot as compared with the undoped QD cell. In this QD solar cell, the short circuit current density increases to 24.30 mA/cm2 compared with 15.07 mA/cm2 in the undoped QD solar cell without deterioration of the open circuit voltage. To identify the physical mechanisms that provide this improvement, we investigated the spectral characteristics of the photovoltaic response and photoluminescence of our QD solar cells. We found that the electron capture into QDs is substantially faster than the hole capture, which leads to an accumulation of electrons in QDs. The electrons trapped in dots enhance IR transitions. The built-in-dot electron charge together with charged dopants outside the dots creates potential barriers, which suppress the fast electron capture processes and at the larger scale form a potential profile which precludes degradation of the open circuit voltage. All of these factors lead to the enhanced harvesting of IR energy and a radical improvement of the QD solar cell efficiency. Higher efficiencies are anticipated with further increase of doping level and at higher radiation intensity. This makes the QD solar cells promising candidates for use with concentrators of solar radiation.

Paper Details

Date Published: 20 September 2011
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 8111, Next Generation (Nano) Photonic and Cell Technologies for Solar Energy Conversion II, 81110H (20 September 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.894618
Show Author Affiliations
K. A. Sablon, U.S. Army Research Lab. (United States)
J. W. Little, U.S. Army Research Lab. (United States)
V. Mitin, Univ. at Buffalo (United States)
A. Sergeev, Univ. at Buffalo (United States)
N. Vagidov, Univ. at Buffalo (United States)
K. Reinhardt, Air Force Office of Scientific Research (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8111:
Next Generation (Nano) Photonic and Cell Technologies for Solar Energy Conversion II
Loucas Tsakalakos, Editor(s)

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