High performance narrow-bandgap GaInNAsSb solar cells are instrumental for the development of lattice-matched GaAs-based solar cells with more than four junctions. To this end a comprehensive optimization process including the effects of growth temperature, As/III beam equivalent pressure ratio, and Sb flux on the performance of 0.8 eV GaInNAsSb solar cells grown by molecular beam epitaxy is reported. For this, sets of GaInNAsSb p-i-n solar cell structures with 5–6% nitrogen compositions were fabricated, while varying the key growth parameters. The quantum efficiency and current generation increased significantly when the narrow gap materials were grown at elevated growth temperatures, close to phase separation. A further improvement in the current generation was observed by employing lower As/III beam equivalent pressure ratios. The best GaInNAsSb cell exhibited about 94% peak external quantum efficiency and generated a short-circuit current of 17.7 mA/cm2 with AM1.5D (1000 W/m2) illumination at wavelengths above 900 nm without employing a back surface reflector. Our analysis indicates that the best cell is already close to being absorption limited. While the N composition should be kept as low as possible (i.e., ≲5%) to achieve high performance, increasing the Sb flux generally results in improved the material quality, i.e., leading to a slight improvement for the open-circuit voltages and fill factors. In addition, it was found that the phase separation observed at the growth temperature of 480 °C could effectively be inhibited by employing higher Sb fluxes.
Publication forum classification
- Publication forum level 2