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Analytical Models of Bulk and Quantum Well Solar Cells and Relevance of the Radiative Limit

Abstract : The analytical modelling of bulk and quantum well solar cells is reviewed. The analytical approach allows explicit estimates of dominant generation and recombination mechanisms at work in charge neutral and space charge layers of the cells. Consistency of the analysis of cell characteristics in the light and in the dark leaves a single free parameter, which is the mean Shockley-Read-Hall lifetime. Bulk PIN cells are shown to be inherently dominated by non-radiative recombination as a result of the doping related non-radiative fraction of the Shockley injection currents. Quantum well PIN solar cells on the other hand are shown to operate in the radiative limit as a result of the dominance of radiative recombination in the space charge region. These features are exploited using light trapping techniques leading to photon recycling and reduced radiative recombination. The conclusion is that the mirror backed quantum well solar cell device features open circuit voltages determined mainly by the higher bandgap neutral layers, with an absorption threshold determined by the lower gap quantum well superlattice. Figure 5.1. The strain balanced quantum well solar cell (SB-QWSC) structure. Alternating strain balanced wells and barriers of gaps Egw, Egb make up the intrinsic region of total width Xi, which is sandwiched between p and n doped layers of width Xp, Xn and bandgap Eg, with an optional higher bandgap window layer. Widths are not to scale, and typical QWSCs contain some tens of QW periods.
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James Connolly. Analytical Models of Bulk and Quantum Well Solar Cells and Relevance of the Radiative Limit. Advanced Solar Cell Materials, Technology, Modeling, and Simulation, pp.59-77, 2012, ⟨10.4018/978-1-4666-1927-2.ch005⟩. ⟨hal-02635002⟩

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