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Light management issues in intermediate band solar cells

  • Antonio Martí (a1), Elisa Antolín (a2), Enrique Cánovas (a3), Pablo García Linares (a4) and Antonio Luque (a5)...


This paper discusses several topics related to light management that improve our understanding of the performance and potential of the intermediate band solar cell (IBSC). These topics are photon recycling, photon selectivity and light confinement. It is found that neglecting photon recycling leads to underestimate the limiting efficiency of the IBSC in 7 points (56.1 % vs 63.2 %). Light trapping allows to effectively absorbing photons whose energy is associated to the weakest of the optical transitions in the IBSC, allowing also for higher efficiencies with lower device thickness. The impact of photon selectivity on the cell performance is also discussed.



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[1] Luque, A. and Martí, A., “Increasing the efficiency of ideal solar cells by photon induced transitions at intermediate levels,” Physical Review Letters, vol. 78, pp. 50145017, 1997.
[2] Luque, A. and Martí, A., “A metallic intermediate band high efficiency solar cell,” Progress in Photovoltaics: Res. Appl., vol. 9, pp. 7386, 2001.
[3] Martí, A., Cuadra, L., and Luque, A., “Quantum dot analysis of the space charge region of intermediate band solar cell,” in Proc. of the 199th Electrochemical Society Meeting Pennington: The Electrochemical Society, 2001, pp. 4660.
[4] Cuadra, L., Martí, A., and Luque, A., “Influence of the overlap between the absorption coefficients on the efficiency of the intermediate band solar cell,” IEEE Transactions on Electron Devices, vol. 51, pp. 10021007, 2004.
[5] Luque, A., Marti, A., Stanley, C., Lopez, N., Cuadra, L., Zhou, D., Pearson, J. L. and McKee, A., “General equivalent circuit for intermediate band devices: Potentials, currents and electroluminescence,” Journal of Applied Physics, vol. 96, pp. 903909, 2004.10.1063/1.1760836
[6] Luque, A., Marti, A., Lopez, N., Antolin, E., Canovas, E., Stanley, C., Farmer, C., Caballero, L. J., Cuadra, L., and Balenzategui, J. L.Experimental analysis of the quasi-Fermi level split in quantum dot intermediate-band solar cells,” Applied Physics Letters, vol. 87, pp. 083505–3, 2005.
[7] Martí, A., Antolin, E., Stanley, C. R. Farmer, C. D. Lopez, N., Diaz, P., Canovas, E., Linares, P. G., and Luque, A., “Production of Photocurrent due to Intermediate-to-Conduction-Band Transitions: A Demonstration of a Key Operating Principle of the Intermediate-Band Solar Cell,” Physical Review Letters, vol. 97, pp. 247701–4, 2006.
[8] Shockley, W. and Queisser, H. J.Detailed Balance Limit of Efficiency of p-n Junction Solar Cells,” Journal of Applied Physics, vol. 32, pp. 510519, 1961.
[9] Martí, A., Balenzategui, J. L. and Reyna, R. F.Photon recycling and Shockley's diode equation,” Journal of Applied Physics, vol. 82, pp. 40674075, 1997.
[10] Martí, A., Cuadra, L., and Luque, A., “Quasi drift-diffusion model for the quantum dot intermediate band solar cell,” IEEE Transactions on Electron Devices, vol. 49, pp. 16321639, 2002.
[11] Brown, A. S. and Green, M. A.Impurity photovoltaic effect: Fundamental energy conversion efficiency limits,” Journal of Applied Physics, vol. 92, pp. 13291336, 2002.
[12] Martí, A., Cuadra, L., and Luque, A., “Intermediate Band Solar Cells,” in NEXT GENERATION PHOTOVOLTAICS: High Efficiency through Full Spectrum Utilization, Martí, A. and Luque, A., Eds. Bristol: Institute of Physics Publishing, 2003, pp. 140162.
[13] Martí, A., Stanley, C. R. and Luque, A., “Intermediate Band Solar Cells (IBSC) using nanotechnolgy,” in Nanostructured Materials for Solar Energy Conversion Soga, T., Ed.: Elsevier, 2006.



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