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Crystals 2018, 8(12), 445;

Tunnel Junctions for III-V Multijunction Solar Cells Review

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695, USA
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 24 October 2018 / Revised: 15 November 2018 / Accepted: 20 November 2018 / Published: 28 November 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue III-V Heteroepitaxy for Solar Energy Conversion)
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Tunnel Junctions, as addressed in this review, are conductive, optically transparent semiconductor layers used to join different semiconductor materials in order to increase overall device efficiency. The first monolithic multi-junction solar cell was grown in 1980 at NCSU and utilized an AlGaAs/AlGaAs tunnel junction. In the last 4 decades both the development and analysis of tunnel junction structures and their application to multi-junction solar cells has resulted in significant performance gains. In this review we will first make note of significant studies of III-V tunnel junction materials and performance, then discuss their incorporation into cells and modeling of their characteristics. A Recent study implicating thermally activated compensation of highly doped semiconductors by native defects rather than dopant diffusion in tunnel junction thermal degradation will be discussed. AlGaAs/InGaP tunnel junctions, showing both high current capability and high transparency (high bandgap), are the current standard for space applications. Of significant note is a variant of this structure containing a quantum well interface showing the best performance to date. This has been studied by several groups and will be discussed at length in order to show a path to future improvements. View Full-Text
Keywords: tunnel junction; solar cell; efficiency tunnel junction; solar cell; efficiency

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Colter, P.; Hagar, B.; Bedair, S. Tunnel Junctions for III-V Multijunction Solar Cells Review. Crystals 2018, 8, 445.

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