Optimizations of GaAs Nanowire Solar Cells Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • The efficiency of GaAs nanowire solar cells can be significantly improved without any new processing steps or material requirements. We report coupled optoelectronic simulations of a GaAs nanowire (NW) solar cell with vertical p-i-n junction and high band gap AlInP passivating shell. Our frequency-dependent model facilitates calculation of quantum efficiency for the first time in NW solar cells. For passivated NWs, we find that short-wavelength photons can be most effectively harnessed by using a thin emitter while long-wavelength photons are best utilized by extending the intrinsic region to the nanowire/substrate interface, and using the substrate as a base. These two easily implemented changes, coupled with the increase of NW height to 3.5 um with realistic surface recombination in the presence of a passivation shell, result in a NW solar cell with greater than 19% efficiency.

publication date

  • November 2016