PHOTO : Materials - III-V semiconductor solar cells

Research Topics - PHOTO / Artificial materials for photonics and photovoltaics / III-V semiconductor solar cells

The multijunction solar cells based on III-V semiconductors have led the path towards the 3rd generation of photovoltaic cells, and can now reach up to 47 % conversion efficiency. Our objective is to demonstrate novel junctions with high efficiency for solar cells grown on GaAs. Our approach is to use the remarquable properties of low bandgap lattice-matched materials such as GaInAsN, GaAsSbN and GaInBiN fabricated by molecular beam epitaxy in order to improve the performances of the 1eV subcell and more prospectively for new conversion concepts. An increase of performances will then have a direct impact for photovoltaic applications both terrestrial and in space.

For space applications, III-V solar cells have demonstrated for several decades their primacy with an interesting ratio between delivered power to weight, and a better radiation withstand. Nevertheless, the use of solar panels in space based on new diluted III-V materials requires the full characterization of their behavior with respect to radiations. The reliability and robustness of solar panels remain the key point for satellites. These requirements of radiation withstand are even more critical with new satellite in-orbit techniques.


InGaAsN solar cells for space applications: (a)  structure of  the fabricated cells, (b) spectral response of a 0.25 cm2 cell.






EURAMET SolCELL project, CIFRE LNE, PhD co-supervised by CNES/ONERA


Related publications:
Levillayer, M. et al., "As-Grown InGaAsN Subcells for Multijunction Solar Cells by Molecular Beam Epitaxy," IEEE Journal of Photovoltaics 2021, doi: 10.1109/JPHOTOV.2021.3093048.

Levillayer, M. et al., "Degradation study of InGaAsN PIN solar cell under 1 MeV electrons irradiation," IEEE Transactions on Nuclear Science 2021, doi: 10.1109/TNS.2021.3068044.

Louarn, K. et al. "Thickness limitation of band-to-band tunneling process in GaAsSb/InGaAs type-II tunnel junctions designed for multijunction solar cells." ACS Applied Energy Materials 2, 1149-1154, 2019.

Louarn, K. (2018). "Etude et réalisation de jonctions tunnel à base d'hétérostructures à semiconducteurs III-V pour les cellules solaires multi-jonction à très haut rendement." Doctoral dissertation, Université de Toulouse 3 Paul Sabatier.