Multijunction solar cell efficiencies: effect of spectral window, optical environment and radiative coupling†
Solar cell efficiency is maximized through multijunction architectures that minimize carrier thermalization and increase absorption. Previous proposals suggest that the maximum efficiency for a finite number of subcells is achieved for designs that optimize for light trapping over radiative coupling. We instead show that structures with radiative coupling and back reflectors for light trapping, e.g. spectrum-splitting cells, can achieve higher conversion efficiencies. We model a compatible geometry, the polyhedral specular reflector. We analyze and experimentally verify the effects of spectral window and radiative coupling on voltage and power. Our results indicate that radiative coupling with back reflectors leads to higher efficiencies than previously studied architectures for practical multijunction architectures (i.e., ≤20 subcells).