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Browse Prior Art Database

Amorphous Heterostructure Solar Cell and Laser

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000089415D
Original Publication Date: 1977-Oct-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-05
Document File: 2 page(s) / 25K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Cuomo, JJ: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

A solar cell and laser are fabricated from sputtered amorphous films to avoid grain boundaries and dislocations which limit device efficiency and life.

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Amorphous Heterostructure Solar Cell and Laser

A solar cell and laser are fabricated from sputtered amorphous films to avoid grain boundaries and dislocations which limit device efficiency and life.

Most solar cells proposed for large scale terrestrial use are composed of one or more polycrystalline films. Grain boundaries and dislocations in such films produce carrier traps which reduce efficiency and promote degradation. Sputtered amorphous films, such as GaAs, do not have such defects. Consequently, solar cells fabricated from suitably sputtered amorphous films should be superior to polycrystalline cells.

An embodiment is shown in which a p-type amorphous layer 10 of GaAs has been sputtered onto a metal substrate 12. A layer 14 of n-type solar transparent amorphous GaP has been sputtered on top of layer 10, producing a heterojunction 16 therebetween which is free of misfit dislocations. Deposition of contact 18 onto layer 14 completes the solar cell.

It should also be possible to fabricate a coupled amorphous diode which would function as a degradation-resistant laser. This might be done by depositing onto a corrugated metallic substrate successive amorphous layers of p-type GaP, p-type GaAs and n-type GaP to produce an active or gain layer of GaAs confined by layers of GaP.

The corrugation period is chosen so that the first order diffraction of the guided wave in the gain layer produces an output beam while second order diffraction provides distributed feedba...