Solar Energy Capture Materials
CHAPTER 2: Compound Semiconductor Solar Cells
Published:19 Aug 2019
Photovoltaic (PV) technologies offer one of the most promising renewable generated electricity (carbon-free) resources, which is the sustainable and workable solution to address fossil fuel shortage and global warming. Until the last decade, the solar market was almost entirely dominated by silicon wafer technology, but rapid advancement in thin-film technology, including both materials and production processes, has pushed this technology to take approximately 25% of the PV market. This has been due to a reduction in the cost, an increased efficiency, developments in cell design and new materials for this type of solar cell. In thin-film technology, compound semiconductor materials are currently one of the most promising candidates, possessing a great diversity of optoelectronic properties and more flexibility in terms of cell design. Consequently, these materials are very attractive for the fabrication of highly efficient photovoltaic devices for applications over large areas. In this chapter, we cover the material properties, the PV design, the current status and the technological limitations of thin-film solar cells based on compound semiconductor materials.