Date of Graduation

7-2015

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Microelectronics-Photonics (PhD)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Graduate School

Advisor

Gregory Salamo

Committee Member

Surendra Singh

Second Committee Member

Shui-Qing Yu

Third Committee Member

Morgan Ware

Fourth Committee Member

Rick Wise

Abstract

The effects of a quantum wire intermediate band, grown by molecular beam epitaxy, on the optical and electrical properties of solar cells are reported. To investigate the behavior of the intermediate band, the quantum wires were remotely doped at three different doping concentrations, the number of quantum wire layers was varied from three to twenty, and the solar cell structure was optimized. For all the structures, current-voltage and external quantum efficiency measurements were performed to examine the effect of absorption and power conversion of the intermediate band solar cell (IBSC). Time-resolved photoluminescence measurements showed that δ-doping can increase the lifetime of the excited electrons in the quantum wires. The quantum efficiency measurements revealed that the quantum wires extend the absorption spectrum in the infrared and produce a photocurrent by absorption of photons with energies below the GaAs band gap energy. In addition, the quantum wire intermediate band solar cell increased the solar conversion efficiency by 13.3% over the reference cell. An increase in the quantum efficiency was observed by increasing the number of quantum wire layers in the intermediate band. Furthermore, by optimizing the solar cell structure, the quantum efficiency and solar power conversion efficiency were substantially improved. Finally, temperature dependent current-voltage measurements reveal that the quantum wire intermediate band does not degrade the temperature sensitivity of the device. This research shows the potential for a quantum wire intermediate band as a viable option for creating higher efficiency solar cell devices.

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