The purpose of a photon ratchet in intermediate band solar cells

Andreas Pusch, Megumi Yoshida, Nicholas P. Hylton, Alexander Mellor, Anthony Vaquero-Steiner, Chris C. Phillips, Ortwin Hess, Nicholas J. Ekins-Daukes

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

    Abstract

    The intermediate band solar cell (IBSC) concept aims to improve upon the Shockley-Queisser limit for single bandgap solar cells by also making use of below bandgap photons through sequential absorption processes via an intermediate band (IB). In order for this concept to be translated into more efficient solar cells there are still challenges to overcome; one of the most important is the increased recombination (radiative as well as non-radiative) associated with the additional states in the bandgap. A proposal to mitigate those recombination losses is the introduction of a photon ratchet into the IBSC, which effectively trades some of the energy of the excited electrons against these recombination losses. We show here that this can lead to substantial improvements even in the radiative limiting efficiency, where no non-radiative recombination is taken into account and that this advantage is especially prominent for IBSCs in which the transitions into and out of the IB are not very absorptive, a case commonly encountered for current IBSC proposals.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publication2017 IEEE 44th Photovoltaic Specialist Conference, PVSC 2017
    PublisherIEEE
    Pages2536-2537
    Number of pages2
    ISBN (Electronic)9781509056057
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2017
    Event44th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialist Conference, PVSC 2017 - Washington, United States
    Duration: 25 Jun 201730 Jun 2017

    Publication series

    Name2017 IEEE 44th Photovoltaic Specialist Conference, PVSC 2017

    Conference

    Conference44th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialist Conference, PVSC 2017
    Country/TerritoryUnited States
    CityWashington
    Period25/06/1730/06/17

    Keywords

    • Amorphous materials
    • Charge carrier lifetime
    • Photovoltaic cells
    • Silicon

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