Quantum Dot-Based Thin-Film III–V Solar Cells

Part of the Lecture Notes in Nanoscale Science and Technology book series (LNNST, volume 27)


In this work, we report our recent results in the development of thin-film III–V solar cells fabricated by epitaxial lift-off (ELO) combining quantum dots (QD) and light management structures. Possible paths to overcome two of the most relevant issues posed by quantum dot solar cells (QDSC), namely, the degradation of open circuit voltage and the weak photon harvesting by QDs, are evaluated both theoretically and experimentally. High open circuit voltage QDSCs grown by molecular beam epitaxy are demonstrated, both in wafer-based and ELO thin-film configuration. This paves the way to the implementation in the genuine thin-film structure of advanced photon management approaches to enhance the QD photocurrent and to further optimize the photovoltage. We show that the use of light trapping is essential to attain high-efficiency QDSCs. Based on transport and rigorous electromagnetic simulations, we derive design guidelines towards light-trapping enhanced thin-film QDSCs with efficiency higher than 28% under unconcentrated light, ambient temperature. If photon recycling can be fully exploited, 30% efficiency is deemed to be feasible. Towards this goal, results on the development and integration of optimized planar and micro-patterned mirrors, diffractive gratings and broadband antireflection coatings are presented.


Solar cell III–V semiconductors Thin-film Epitaxial lift-off Quantum dot Light trapping 



The work was partly funded by the European Union Horizon 2020 projects TFQD (Grant Agreement No. 687253) and ERC AdG project AMETIST (Grant Agreement No. ERC-2015-AdG 695116). The authors would also like to thank Dr. Arto Aho for valuable discussions, Dr. Jari Lyytikäinen and Mr. Eero Halonen for MBE-related actions and Ms. Marianna Raappana and Mrs. Ninja Kajas for sample processing support. The authors would also like to thank Prof. Huiyun Liu for his help with starting the QD growths.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Electronics and TelecommunicationsPolitecnico di TorinoTorinoItaly
  2. 2.Optoelectronics Research Centre, Physics Unit, Faculty of Engineering and Natural SciencesTampere UniversityTampereFinland
  3. 3.Institute for Molecules and MaterialsRadboud UniversityNijmegenThe Netherlands
  4. 4.tf2 devices B.V.NijmegenThe Netherlands

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