Irradiation effect in triple junction solar cells for spatial applications

Abstract : This thesis is the result of work on the irradiation effect of lattice matched GaInP/GaAs/Ge triple junction (TJ) solar cells in LILT conditions. Initiated by needs of the understanding of EOL performances of the solar cells in JUICE mission, we have found very peculiar phenomena which are not supposed to occur if it was irradiated at room temperature. First, a bottom component cell exhibited a larger drop of Isc at a lower temperature, which potentially proposes a current limiting by the bottom sub-cell in the TJ structure. A temperature dependence of RF(Isc) recovery by an isochronal annealing and the orientation dependence of Isc degradation of the bottom component cell have implied that its degradation mechanism could be related to defect clusters formed along proton tracks, acting like insulating (non active) area for minority carriers. Second, we have observed in general larger degradation of FF and Pmax from electron irradiated TJ cells compared to proton irradiated ones. This distinct difference has originated especially from the top and bottom sub-cells due to the occurrence of excess dark current. This additional current in dark seems to be related to the indirect tunneling effect by defects induced by electron irradiation. Furthermore, EOL FF and Pmax appeared to be more and more spread from cell to cell as the electron fluence increased. A displacement damage dose (DDD) approach was applied to 1 and 2 MeV electron and proton irradiated TJ cells and its component cells. It turned out that 2 MeV electrons induced greater degradation than others for all parameters (Isc, Voc, FF, Pmax). The middle component cell showed almost a perfect match of DDD between electron and proton irradiated cells in LILT condition, indicating that the final defects produced by electron and proton irradiations are perhaps the same. TJ and its top component cell showed less degradation on Voc under the electron irradiation compared to the proton irradiation. For the Ge bottom component cell, the electron irradiation induced much larger downgrading of Voc, FF and Pmax compared to the proton irradiation. To improve the radiation hardness of the cells by reducing the excess dark current, it would be worth to decrease the doping concentration of junctions to reduce the creation of secondary defects related to impurities.
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Seonyong Park. Irradiation effect in triple junction solar cells for spatial applications. Atomic Physics [physics.atom-ph]. Université Paris-Saclay, 2018. English. ⟨NNT : 2018SACLX039⟩. ⟨tel-02024207⟩

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