It is the purpose of the work to develop methods for and present on the computational analyses of advanced III-V photovoltaic devices and their enhancement by the incorporation of semiconductor nanostructures. Such devices are currently being fabricated as part of the research efforts at the Nanopower Research Laboratories; therefore, this work aims to supplement and ground the experimental undertakings with a strong theoretical basis. This is accomplished by numerical calculations based on the detailed balance model and by physicsbased device simulation. The specific materials focus of this work is on the enhancement of the GaAs solar cell. The aforementioned methodologies are applied to this device and to distinct enhancement schemes. The detailed balance formalism is applied to the single-junction solar cell as an introduction leading up to the triple-junction device. A thorough analysis shows how the InGaP-GaAs-Ge triple-junction solar cell may be enhanced by the incorporation of nanostructures. The intermediate band solar cell is introduced as it may be realized by the coupling of a nanostructured array. The detailed balance analysis of this device is performed using the usual blackbody spectrum as well as the more realistic scenarios of illumination by the AM0 and AM1.5 solar spectra. Current research endeavors into placing an InAs quantum dot array in a GaAs solar cell are put into the context of these calculations. It is determined that, although the InAs/GaAs system is not ideal, it does exhibit a significant enhancement in performance over the standard single-junction device. The evaluation of a commercially available, physics-based, device simulation software package for use in advanced photovoltaics analysis is also performed. The application of this tool on the single-junction GaAs solar cell indicates that the current design used in experimental work is optimized. Recommendations are made, however, in the optimized design of the InGaP-GaAs dual-junction cell. The device simulator is shown to exhibit difficulties in evaluating the complete operation of advanced solar devices; however, the software is used to compute fundamental quantum mechanical variables in a nanostructured solar cell.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Solar cells--Design and construction--Computer simulation; Photovoltaic cells--Design and construction--Computer simulation; Semiconductors--Design and construction--Computer simulation; Nanoelectromechanical systems--Design and construction--Computer sim

Publication Date


Document Type


Department, Program, or Center

Center for Materials Science and Engineering


Hubbard, Seth

Advisor/Committee Member

Rommel, Sean


Note: imported from RIT’s Digital Media Library running on DSpace to RIT Scholar Works. Physical copy available through RIT's The Wallace Library at: TK2960 .A48 2008


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