H. L. Chuang, P.D. DeMoulin, M.E. Klausmeier-Brown, G.B. Lush, D.P. Rancour . Subcontract: XL-5-05018-1. This report was prepared as an account of work sponsored by the Solar Energy Research Institute, a Division of Midwest Research Institute, in support of its Contract No. DE-AC02-83-CH10093 with the United States Department of Energy. Neither the Solar Energy Research Institute, the Midwest Research Institute, the United States Government, nor the United States Department of Energy,: nor any of their employees, nor any of their contractors, subcontractors, or their employees, makes any warranty, express or implied, or assumes any legal responsibility for the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any information, apparatus, product, or process disclosed, or represents that its use would not infringe privately owned rights.


The objective of the project is to raise the understanding of dark current mechanisms in GaAs-related solar cells to a level comparable to that of silicon cells. Motivation for this work arises from the observation that much of the progress in crystalline silicon cell performance has occurred as a result of a very deep knowledge of the physics controlling the cell’s dark current. Based on this knowledge, new cell structures evolved to suppress dominant dark current mechanisms. A comparable level of knowledge of GaAs cell device physics does not yet exist, but will be essential if cell performance near the thermodynamic limit is to be achieved. Moreover, knowledge gained from studies of the AlGaAs/GaAs material system, should help identify the key problems to be addressed in other III-V materials.

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