Heterojunction and Nanostructured Photovoltaic Device: Theory and Experiment

2011 2011

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Abstract (summary)

A primary motivation of research in photovoltaic technology is to obtain higher efficiency photovoltaic devices at reduced cost of production so that solar electricity can be cost competitive. The majority of photovoltaic technologies are based on p-n junction, with efficiency potential being much lower than the thermodynamic limits of individual technologies and thereby providing substantial scope for further improvements in efficiency. The thesis explores photovoltaic devices using new physical processes that rely on thin layers and are capable of attaining the thermodynamic limit of photovoltaic technology.

Silicon heterostructure is one of the candidate technologies in which thin films induce a minority carrier collecting junction in silicon and the devices can achieve efficiency close to the thermodynamic limits of silicon technology. The thesis proposes and experimentally establishes a new theory explaining the operation of silicon heterostructure solar cells. The theory will assist in identifying the optimum properties of thin film materials for silicon heterostructure and help in design and characterization of the devices, along with aiding in developing new devices based on this technology. The efficiency potential of silicon heterostructure is constrained by the thermodynamic limit (31%) of single junction solar cell and is considerably lower than the limit of photovoltaic conversion (∼ 80 %). A further improvement in photovoltaic conversion efficiency is possible by implementing a multiple quasi-fermi level system (MQFL). A MQFL allows the absorption of sub band gap photons with current being extracted at a higher band-gap, thereby allowing to overcome the efficiency limit of single junction devices. A MQFL can be realized either by thin epitaxial layers of alternating higher and lower band gap material with nearly lattice matched (quantum well) or highly lattice mismatched (quantum dot) structure. The thesis identifies the material combination for quantum well structure and calculates the absorption coefficient of a MQFl based on quantum well. GaAsSb (barrier)/InAs(dot) was identified as a candidate material for MQFL using quantum dot. The thesis explains the growth mechanism of GaAsSb and the optimization of GaAsSb and GaAs heterointerface.

Indexing (details)

Alternative Energy;
Materials science
0363: Alternative Energy
0794: Materials science
Identifier / keyword
Applied sciences; Nanostructure; Photovoltaics; Silicon heterojunctions; Solar cells
Heterojunction and Nanostructured Photovoltaic Device: Theory and Experiment
Ghosh, Kunal
Number of pages
Publication year
Degree date
School code
DAI-B 73/03, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
Bowden, Stuart; Honsberg, Christiana
Committee member
Goodnick, Stephen; Vasileska, Dragica
Arizona State University
Electrical Engineering
University location
United States -- Arizona
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Document type
Dissertation/thesis number
ProQuest document ID
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
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