Advances in nanowires for PV

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III-V nanowires (NWs) have recently emerged as a promising candidate for the direct growth of perfect III-V crystals on silicon, and open new perspectives for the conception and fabrication of tandem solar cells.

Using MBE with the vapor–liquid–solid (VLS) growth mechanism, we have recently tackled several issues within a collaborative framework involving several C2N teams, IPVF, and INL in particular. We made important advances in the growth optimization of regular GaAs/AlGaAs core-shell arrays (M. Vettori et al.), in the precise control of GaAsP alloys to reach the optimal bandgap for III-V/Si tandem solar cells (R. de Lépinau et al., C. Himwas et al.), and in the growth of thin wide-bandgap shells for passivation (R. de Lépinau et al., C. Himwas et al.). Structural and optical properties of nanowires have been investigated by scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) and EDX spectroscopy, together with cathodoluminescence mapping of single nanowires.

The results published in several articles this year (see below) constitute a key step in the realization of III-V nanowire solar cells made of core-shell heterostructures. First devices have been successfully fabricated and characterized… stay tuned!