The present invention utilizes epitaxial lift-off in which a sacrificial layer is included in the epitaxial growth between the substrate and a thin film III-V compound solar cell. To provide support for the thin film III-V compound solar cell in absence of the substrate, a backing layer is applied to a surface of the thin film compound solar cell before it is separated from the substrate. To separate the thin film compound solar cell from the substrate, the sacrificial layer is removed as part of the epitaxial lift-off. Once the substrate is separated from the thin film III-V compound solar cell, the substrate may then be reused in the formation of another thin film compound solar cell.
STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENT SUPPORT
 Some of the work described herein was sponsored by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Contract No. NAT-7-77015-05. The U.S. Government has certain rights in the invention.