High efficiency, radiation-hard solar cells

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The direct gap of the In{sub 1-x}Ga{sub x}N alloy system extends continuously from InN (0.7 eV, in the near IR) to GaN (3.4 eV, in the mid-ultraviolet). This opens the intriguing possibility of using this single ternary alloy system in single or multi-junction (MJ) solar cells of the type used for space-based surveillance satellites. To evaluate the suitability of In{sub 1-x}Ga{sub x}N as a material for space applications, high quality thin films were grown with molecular beam epitaxy and extensive damage testing with electron, proton, and alpha particle radiation was performed. Using the room temperature photoluminescence intensity as a indirect ... continued below

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18 pages

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Ager, J. W., III & Walukiewicz, W. October 22, 2004.

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Description

The direct gap of the In{sub 1-x}Ga{sub x}N alloy system extends continuously from InN (0.7 eV, in the near IR) to GaN (3.4 eV, in the mid-ultraviolet). This opens the intriguing possibility of using this single ternary alloy system in single or multi-junction (MJ) solar cells of the type used for space-based surveillance satellites. To evaluate the suitability of In{sub 1-x}Ga{sub x}N as a material for space applications, high quality thin films were grown with molecular beam epitaxy and extensive damage testing with electron, proton, and alpha particle radiation was performed. Using the room temperature photoluminescence intensity as a indirect measure of minority carrier lifetime, it is shown that In{sub 1-x}Ga{sub x}N retains its optoelectronic properties at radiation damage doses at least 2 orders of magnitude higher than the damage thresholds of the materials (GaAs and GaInP) currently used in high efficiency MJ cells. This indicates that the In{sub 1-x}Ga{sub x}N is well-suited for the future development of ultra radiation-hard optoelectronics. Critical issues affecting development of solar cells using this material system were addressed. The presence of an electron-rich surface layer in InN and In{sub 1-x}Ga{sub x}N (0 < x < 0.63) was investigated; it was shown that this is a less significant effect at large x. Evidence of p-type activity below the surface in Mg-doped InN was obtained; this is a significant step toward achieving photovoltaic action and, ultimately, a solar cell using this material.

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18 pages

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OSTI as DE00840450

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  • Other Information: PBD: 22 Oct 2004

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  • Report No.: LBNL--56326
  • Grant Number: AC03-76SF00098
  • DOI: 10.2172/840450 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 840450
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc789062

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  • October 22, 2004

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Dec. 3, 2015, 9:30 a.m.

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  • June 15, 2016, 1:17 p.m.

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Ager, J. W., III & Walukiewicz, W. High efficiency, radiation-hard solar cells, report, October 22, 2004; Berkeley, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc789062/: accessed May 23, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.