Solving Series Resistance Problems In GaSb Thermophotovoltaics with Graphene and Other Approaches

TR Number
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Virginia Tech

GaSb Thermophotovoltaics are a key technology in the search for the ability to power small scale autonomous systems. In this work, MBE grown GaSb photovoltaic devices are fabricated and tested under AM 1.5 conditions. These devices displayed short circuit current values as high as 40 mA/cm2 but were found to have poor series resistance. The parasitic resistive characteristics were factored out of the measured cell data and it was found that the photocurrent for the fabricated devices could be as much as 6 mA/cm2 higher then the measured short circuit current. An additional layer of metal was added to the reduce the deleterious resistance characteristics, and it was found to lower the series resistance down to a 4 Ω average across almost all of the devices. The average JSC for all of these devices increased to over 30 mA/cm2, with highs well over 40 mA/cm2, a more consistent result than the original single metal deposition devices. Graphene was applied to the originally fabricated devices in an attempt to remove the series resistances issues as well as act as a surface passivation layer. The graphene was able to reduce series resistance by as much as 50% on some of the devices, with a corresponding 6 mA/cm2 increase in short circuit current exhibited. The photocurrent and diode current values were not changed by more than a measurement error, an indication that surface passivaiton may not have taken place. Graphene was a suitable approach for solving the series resistance issue and its use as both a transparent conductive layer and surface passivation material deserve further investigation.

GaSb, Graphene, Photovoltaics