- The internal quantum efficiency (IQE) of epitaxial GaSb thin film cell was predicted.
- The optimal thickness of the base region was obtained for the maximal IQE.
- The optimal range of the bottom surface recombination velocity was obtained.
- Increasing the hole Shockley–Read–Hall lifetime will greatly increase the IQE.
- Epitaxial single crystal GaSb thin film cell;
- Zn-diffused p–n junction;
- Epitaxial p–n junction;
- Internal quantum efficiency
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As promising candidates for thermophotovoltaic energy conversion systems, epitaxial thin film III–V cells have gained increasing attention due to their potential for reduced weight. However, few studies have been done to date to enhance the performance of epitaxial single crystal GaSb thin film cells. In this work, the internal quantum efficiencies of epitaxial single crystal GaSb thin film cells with Zn-diffused and epitaxial p–n junctions were predicted with models verified using the corresponding experimental results. The results are the first to indicate that, for the former, when the base region thickness is approximately equal to minority carrier diffusion length, the maximal IQE can be obtained and it is notably higher than the IQE of GaSb bulk cell at wavelengths from 800 to 1700 nm. Reducing bottom surface recombination velocity and increasing hole Shockley–Read–Hall lifetime could also increase the IQE. While for the latter, the results demonstrated that the optimal base region thickness is also approximately equal to minority diffusion length, and reducing emitter region thickness will increase the IQE when the base region is optimized. The comparison of the two optimized GaSb thin film cells showed that the GaSb thin film cell with epitaxial p–n junction has a higher IQE.