A new method of building multi-junction solar cells saves money by using off-the-shelf components.
Although stacked solar cells are the most efficient on the market, they are also much more expensive to produce than the thin film version. To help lower the cost, the team from North Carolina State University developed an alternative to the heavily doped materials required to create the tunnel junction between the different layers. The new approach involves using indium and intermetallic bonding to bond the different materials together, which the team demonstrated in their proof of concept, off-the-shelf gallium arsenide solar cell successfully stacked on top of a silicon cell.
According to lead author Salah Bedair, “With this technique we are able to take advantage of inexpensive, off-the-shelf solutions without having to develop all new technology. Manufacturers could simply tweak their existing products slightly to increase their efficiency in multi-junction solar cells, rather than having to create new products.”
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