Awardee: University of Oregon
Location: Eugene, OR
Funding Program: Bridging Research Interactions through Collaborative Development Grants in Energy (BRIDGE)
Silicon, the dominant photovoltaic (PV) technology, is reaching its fundamental performance limits as a single absorber/junction technology. Higher efficiency devices are needed to reduce cost further because the balance of systems account for about two-thirds of the overall cost of the solar electricity. III-V semiconductors such as GaAs are used to make the highest-efficiency photovoltaic devices, but the costs of manufacture are much too high for non-concentrated terrestrial applications. The cost of III-V’s is driven by two factors: (1) metal-organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD), the dominant growth technology, employs expensive, toxic and pyrophoric gas-phase precursors, and (2) the growth substrates conventionally required for high-performance devices are monocrystalline III-V wafers.