Optimal indium-gallium-nitride Schottky-barrier thin-film solar cells

Tom H. Anderson, Akhlesh Lakhtakia, Peter B. Monk

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations


A two-dimensional model was developed to simulate the optoelectronic characteristics of indium-gallium-nitride (IGa1-ξN), thin-film, Schottky-barrier-junction solar cells. The solar cell comprises a window designed to reduce the reflection of incident light, Schottky-barrier and ohmic front electrodes, an n-doped IGa1-ξN wafer, and a metallic periodically corrugated back-reflector (PCBR). The ratio of indium to gallium in the wafer varies periodically in the thickness direction, and thus the optical and electrical constitutive properties of the alloy also vary periodically. This material nonhomogeneity could be physically achieved by varying the fractional composition of indium and gallium during deposition. Empirical models for indium nitride and gallium nitride, combined with Vegard's law, were used to calculate the optical and electrical constitutive properties of the alloy. The periodic nonhomogeneity aids charge separation and, in conjunction with the PCBR, enables incident light to couple to multiple surface plasmon-polariton waves and waveguide modes. The profile of the resulting chargecarrier-generation rate when the solar cell is illuminated by the AM1.5G spectrum was calculated using the rigorous coupled-wave approach. The steady-state drift-diffusion equations were solved using COMSOL, which employs finite-element methods, to calculate the current density as a function of the voltage. Mid-band Shockley- Read-Hall, Auger, and radiative recombination rates were taken to be the dominant methods of recombination. The model was used to study the effects of the solar-cell geometry and the shape of the periodic material nonhomogeneity on efficiency. The solar-cell efficiency was optimized using the differential evolution algorithm.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationNext Generation Technologies for Solar Energy Conversion VIII
EditorsGavin Conibeer, Oleg V. Sulima
ISBN (Electronic)9781510611931
StatePublished - 2017
EventNext Generation Technologies for Solar Energy Conversion VIII 2017 - San Diego, United States
Duration: Aug 8 2017Aug 9 2017

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


OtherNext Generation Technologies for Solar Energy Conversion VIII 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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