Journal Article Efficient two-step photocarrier generation in bias-controlled InAs/GaAs quantum dot superlattice intermediate-band solar cells

Kada, T.  ,  Asahi, S.  ,  Kaizu, T.  ,  Harada, Y.  ,  Tamaki, R.  ,  Okada, Y.  ,  Kita, T.

7p.5865 , 2017-07-19 , Nature Publishing Group
We studied the effects of the internal electric field on two-step photocarrier generation in InAs/GaAs quantum dot superlattice (QDSL) intermediate-band solar cells (IBSCs). The external quantum efficiency of QDSL-IBSCs was measured as a function of the internal electric field intensity, and compared with theoretical calculations accounting for interband and intersubband photoexcitations. The extra photocurrent caused by the two-step photoexcitation was maximal for a reversely biased electric field, while the current generated by the interband photoexcitation increased monotonically with increasing electric field intensity. The internal electric field in solar cells separated photogenerated electrons and holes in the superlattice (SL) miniband that played the role of an intermediate band, and the electron lifetime was extended to the microsecond scale, which improved the intersubband transition strength, therefore increasing the two-step photocurrent. There was a trade-off relation between the carrier separation enhancing the two-step photoexcitation and the electric-field-induced carrier escape from QDSLs. These results validate that long-lifetime electrons are key to maximising the two-step photocarrier generation in QDSL-IBSCs.

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