The continuity and Poisson equations are solved numerically to obtain J-V characteristics and photoconversion efficiency of a two-junction solar cell. The cell consists of a top junction comprised of nanowires with bandgap of 1.7 eV grown on a bottom junction comprised of a Si substrate. The lattice relaxation possible in nanowires permits lattice-mismatched III-V material growth on Si, thereby achieving the optimum bandgaps in a two-junction cell. The model indicates a limiting efficiency of 42.3% under a concentration of 500 Suns (AM1.5D spectrum). This limiting efficiency is similar to that calculated for the planar lattice-matched triple-junction Ge/InGaAs/InGaP cell. Methods of fabricating the nanowire/Si cell are discussed including requirements for nanowire sidewall surface passivation.

© 2011 Optical Society of America

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