Funding Opportunity: SuNLaMP
SunShot Subprogram: Photovoltaics
Location: National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, CO
Amount Awarded: $8,000,000

The efficiency and concentration of III-V multi-junction solar cells are essential to reduce the cost of high concentration photovoltaic systems (HCPV). This project will push the limits of high-concentration III-V multi-junction solar cell technology by designing and building five and six-junction solar cells that can exceed 50% efficiency under concentrator standard testing conditions. The project aims to develop new physical understanding and break the worldwide PV efficiency records.


Researchers will focus on maximizing energy yield in HCPV systems through cell-level design to reduce the levelized cost of energy. The team will use realistic model-directed multi-junction device design, materials research, light management strategies, and series resistance mitigation to develop the design. This project will advance the scientific understanding of dislocation nucleation and glide in III-V alloys to achieve low threading dislocation densities in ternary and quaternary junctions. It will address techniques to grow metastable compositions of quaternary III-V alloys and mitigate oxygen related defects in aluminum-containing alloys. The researchers will extend the understanding of the physics of the complex optoelectronic multi-junction solar cell devices concerning light emission, relatively high light injection levels associated with high concentration, and small device sizes.


The solar cell efficiency and high concentration operation have the ability to greatly impact the total system levelized cost of energy. This project aims to set a world record for solar cells achieving 50% efficiency and resulting in a significant advance for HCPV market.