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METAMORPHIC SOLAR CELL HAVING IMPROVED CURRENT GENERATION

United States Patent Application

20120240987
A1
View the Complete Application at the US Patent & Trademark Office
National Renewable Energy Laboratory - Visit the NREL Technology Transfer Website
A semiconductor device structure having increased photogenerated current density, and increased current output is disclosed. The device includes low bandgap absorber regions that increase the range of wavelengths at which photogeneration of charge carriers takes place, and for which useful current can be collected. The low bandgap absorber regions may be strain balanced by strain-compensation regions, and the low bandgap absorber regions and strain-compensation regions may be formed from the same ternary semiconductor family. The device may be a solar cell, subcell, or other optoelectronic device with a metamorphic or lattice-mismatched base layer, for which the low bandgap absorber region improves the effective bandgap combination of subcells and current balance within the multijunction cell, for higher efficiency conversion of the solar spectrum.
KING, Richard R. (Thousand Oaks, CA), FETZER, Christopher M. (Valencia, CA), KRUT, Dimitri D. (Encino, CA), KARAM, Nasser H. (La Canada, CA)
THE BOEING COMPANY (Chicago IL)
13/ 069,274
March 22, 2011
[0001] This disclosure was made with Government support under Contract No. ZAT-4-33624-12 awarded by the U.S. Dept. of Energy (DOE), through the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). The Government has certain rights in this disclosure.