Optoelectronic optimization of graded-bandgap thin-film AlGaAs solar cells. Part II: optimal antireflection front-surface texturing

Faiz Ahmad, Peter B. Monk, Akhlesh Lakhtakia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In Part I [Appl.Opt.59, 1018 (2020)],we used a coupled optoelectronic model to optimize a thin-film AlGaAs solar cell with a graded-bandgap photon-absorbing layer and a periodically corrugated Ag backreflector combined with localized ohmic Pd-Ge-Au backcontacts, because both strategies help to improve the performance of AlGaAs solar cells. However, the results in Part I were affected by a normalization error, which came to light when we replaced the hybridizable discontinuous Galerkin scheme for electrical computation by the faster finite-difference scheme. Therefore, we re-optimized the solar cells containing an n-AlGaAs photon-absorbing layer with either a (i) homogeneous, (ii) linearly graded, or (iii) nonlinearly graded bandgap. Another way to improve the power conversion efficiency is by using a surface antireflection texturing on the wavelength scale, so we also optimized four different types of 1D periodic surface texturing: (i) rectangular, (ii) convex hemi-elliptical, (iii) triangular, and (iv) concave hemi-elliptical. Our new results show that the optimal nonlinear bandgap grading enhances the efficiency by as much as 3.31% when the n-AlGaAs layer is 400 nm thick and 1.14% when that layer is 2000 nm thick. A hundredfold concentration of sunlight can enhance the efficiency by a factor of 11.6%. Periodic texturing of the front surface on the scale of 0.5-2 free-space wavelengths provides a small relative enhancement in efficiency over the AlGaAs solar cells with a planar front surface; however, the enhancement is lower when the n-AlGaAs layer is thicker.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7487-7495
Number of pages9
JournalApplied optics
Issue number28
StatePublished - Oct 1 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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