Open Access Nano Express

Improvement of performance of InAs quantum dot solar cell by inserting thin AlAs layers

Dongzhi Hu1*, Claiborne CO McPheeters2, Edward T Yu2 and Daniel M Schaadt1

Author affiliations

1 Institut für Angewandte Physik/DFG-Center for Functional Nanostructures, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Karlsruhe, Germany

2 Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Microelectronics Research Center, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78758, USA

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Citation and License

Nanoscale Research Letters 2011, 6:83  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-6-83

Published: 12 January 2011


A new measure to enhance the performance of InAs quantum dot solar cell is proposed and measured. One monolayer AlAs is deposited on top of InAs quantum dots (QDs) in multistack solar cells. The devices were fabricated by molecular beam epitaxy. In situ annealing was intended to tune the QD density. A set of four samples were compared: InAs QDs without in situ annealing with and without AlAs cap layer and InAs QDs in situ annealed with and without AlAs cap layer. Atomic force microscopy measurements show that when in situ annealing of QDs without AlAs capping layers is investigated, holes and dashes are present on the device surface, while capping with one monolayer AlAs improves the device surface. On unannealed samples, capping the QDs with one monolayer of AlAs improves the spectral response, the open-circuit voltage and the fill factor. On annealed samples, capping has little effect on the spectral response but reduces the short-circuit current, while increasing the open-circuit voltage, the fill factor and power conversion efficiency.