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Consequences of Controlling Radiative Loss in Quantum Well Solar Cells
N.J. Ekins-Daukes, A. Chan, L. Hirst, K.-H. Lee, K.W.J. Barnham, M. Führer, P. Stavrinou, J. Adams, B. Browne
III-V Semiconductor, Multijunction Solar Cell, Quantum Well, Concentrator
Material Studies, New Concepts and Ultra-High Efficiency
Subtopic: Fundamental Material Studies
Event: 27th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition
Session: 1CV.8.35
512 - 515
ISBN: 3-936338-28-0
Paper DOI: 10.4229/27thEUPVSEC2012-1CV.8.35
0,00 EUR
Document(s): paper


The use of quantum wells in photovoltaic devices are often discussed in terms of providing additional current to improve the efficiency of multi-junction photovoltaic devices. However, quantum wells also provide some freedom to manipulate the radiative recombination in the quantum well solar cell. Under concentrated sunlight, the quantum well solar cell becomes radiatively limited, so the voltage of the quantum well solar cell becomes dependent upon the radiative loss from the device, which in turn can be controlled by careful design of the solar cell. Anisotropic radiative recombination from a quantum well solar cell leads to a small voltage improvement in the solar cell since the recombination current is suppressed in directions where sunlight is not absorbed. Further, we show that strong radiative coupling between sub-cells takes place, resulting in a multi-junction solar cell that is tolerant to daily and seasonal changes to the solar spectrum.