We attempted to clarify the impact of the compositional distribution on recently reported improvement in the conversion efficiency of solar cells based on bulk multicrystalline SiGe. For this purpose, Si1-x Gex / Si1-y Gey multiple quantum well structures on heavily doped Si-on-insulator were employed as model crystals. The combination of x and y, the width of each layer, and the number of repetitions were systematically changed to study the influence of the introduction of Ge on photocarrier generation and carrier transport while keeping the average Ge composition as 0.03. Spatial modulation of the band structure leads to formation of quantum wells for holes and gives negative impact especially in the photocarrier collection from the n -type region. When the depth of wells was designed to be constant, short-circuit carrier density was found to show a maximum at appropriate compositional distribution due to the competition between the increase in the photocarrier generation and the decrease in the minority carrier diffusion length. Within a limited compositional range, the overall performance of the solar cell was revealed to be improved by the introduction of the compositional distribution compared with that based on uniform Si0.97 Ge0.03. Therefore, intentional introduction of the compositional distribution is concluded to be useful for improvement in the solar cell performance if appropriate dispersion is chosen.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)