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Issue 2, 2019
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Flexible GaAs solar cells on roll-to-roll processed epitaxial Ge films on metal foils: a route towards low-cost and high-performance III–V photovoltaics

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Abstract

In this report, we describe a unique roll-to-roll plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (R2R-PECVD) technique to grow high-quality single-crystalline-like Ge films on flexible metal foils, an important advancement towards scalable processing of epitaxial Ge films at low-cost. Ion-beam assisted deposition was used to create single-crystalline-like substrate templates to enable epitaxial growth of Ge films. The Ge films were highly (004) oriented, biaxially-textured and showed remarkable crystalline quality, equivalent to single-crystal Ge wafers. Subsequently, the Ge films on metal foils were used as substrates to fabricate flexible GaAs single-junction solar cell by metal-oxide chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD). The champion device showed efficiency of 11.5%, and the average efficiency of four devices was 8% at 1 sun, the highest reported on GaAs PV directly deposited on alternative flexible substrates. Devices made on CVD-Ge film exhibited significantly improved performance compared to the ones grown on sputtered Ge films. Scalable production of inexpensive and flexible epi-Ge films will not only be useful for developing low-cost and high-performance III–V solar cells, but also for emerging flexible electronic devices applications.

Graphical abstract: Flexible GaAs solar cells on roll-to-roll processed epitaxial Ge films on metal foils: a route towards low-cost and high-performance III–V photovoltaics

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Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
03 Sep 2018
Accepted
18 Jan 2019
First published
18 Jan 2019

Energy Environ. Sci., 2019,12, 756-766
Article type
Paper
Author version available

Flexible GaAs solar cells on roll-to-roll processed epitaxial Ge films on metal foils: a route towards low-cost and high-performance III–V photovoltaics

P. Dutta, M. Rathi, D. Khatiwada, S. Sun, Y. Yao, B. Yu, S. Reed, M. Kacharia, J. Martinez, A. P. Litvinchuk, Z. Pasala, S. Pouladi, B. Eslami, J.-H. Ryou, H. Ghasemi, P. Ahrenkiel, S. Hubbard and V. Selvamanickam, Energy Environ. Sci., 2019, 12, 756
DOI: 10.1039/C8EE02553C

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