Special Issue "III-V Heteroepitaxy for Solar Energy Conversion"

A special issue of Crystals (ISSN 2073-4352). This special issue belongs to the section "Crystal Engineering".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 28 February 2019

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Henning Döscher

Competence Center Emerging Technologies,
Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research ISI,
Breslauer Str. 48 | 76139 Karlsruhe | Germany
Website | E-Mail
Interests: III-V semiconductors; epitaxy; in situ analysis; surface science; critical interfaces; solar energy; photoelectrochemistry; innovation systems; technology roadmapping

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

III-V devices have set efficiency records, in both photovoltaic and photoelectrochemical conversion of solar energy, for decades. The unrivalled technical merits are based on: (a) superior semiconductor properties; (b) advanced epitaxial material quality; and (c) facile heterostructure integration. The III-V material system dominates optoelectronic technologies—except for solar energy conversion, where the high cost still constrains commercial success in niche markets. Vast promises and critical bottlenecks associated with III-V materials in solar energy generation constitute a challenging context for the current Special Issue.

This Special Issue, on “III-V Heteroepitaxy for Solar Energy Conversion”, is intended to provide a unique international forum, aimed at exploring both technological perspectives and commercialization prospects of epitaxial III-V absorbers, with respect to future sustainable systems. Scientists working in a wide range of disciplines are invited to contribute to this Special Issue.

The keywords below broadly cover the general topics, framing a greater number of sub-topics that we have in mind. This volume, especially, is open to visionary and/or interdisciplinary work addressing advanced epitaxial devices or components for solar energy systems, or prospects for their widespread application. Subject areas of particular interest include:

  • Advanced solar absorber structures and concepts
  • Multi-junction photovoltaics and device implementation strategies
  • Efficient solar fuel generation and material durability
  • Structural characterization and in situ analysis
  • High-volume production and emerging growth techniques
  • Alternative substrates and substrate reuse
  • Sustainability and economic viability

Dr. Henning Döscher
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Crystals is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • III-V semiconductors
  • Epitaxial growth
  • Photovoltaics
  • Solar fuel generation


Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessReview GaAs Nanowires Grown by Catalyst Epitaxy for High Performance Photovoltaics
Crystals 2018, 8(9), 347; https://doi.org/10.3390/cryst8090347
Received: 13 August 2018 / Revised: 26 August 2018 / Accepted: 27 August 2018 / Published: 29 August 2018
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Photovoltaics (PVs) based on nanostructured III/V semiconductors can potentially reduce the material usage and increase the light-to-electricity conversion efficiency, which are anticipated to make a significant impact on the next-generation solar cells. In particular, GaAs nanowire (NW) is one of the most promising
[...] Read more.
Photovoltaics (PVs) based on nanostructured III/V semiconductors can potentially reduce the material usage and increase the light-to-electricity conversion efficiency, which are anticipated to make a significant impact on the next-generation solar cells. In particular, GaAs nanowire (NW) is one of the most promising III/V nanomaterials for PVs due to its ideal bandgap and excellent light absorption efficiency. In order to achieve large-scale practical PV applications, further controllability in the NW growth and device fabrication is still needed for the efficiency improvement. This article reviews the recent development in GaAs NW-based PVs with an emphasis on cost-effectively synthesis of GaAs NWs, device design and corresponding performance measurement. We first discuss the available manipulated growth methods of GaAs NWs, such as the catalytic vapor-liquid-solid (VLS) and vapor-solid-solid (VSS) epitaxial growth, followed by the catalyst-controlled engineering process, and typical crystal structure and orientation of resulted NWs. The structure-property relationships are also discussed for achieving the optimal PV performance. At the same time, important device issues are as well summarized, including the light absorption, tunnel junctions and contact configuration. Towards the end, we survey the reported performance data and make some remarks on the challenges for current nanostructured PVs. These results not only lay the ground to considerably achieve the higher efficiencies in GaAs NW-based PVs but also open up great opportunities for the future low-cost smart solar energy harvesting devices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue III-V Heteroepitaxy for Solar Energy Conversion)

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