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High Efficiency III-V Solar Cells: past, present and future

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Dr Geoff Hale.

Light refreshments from 19:00. Open to anyone with an interest in the topic.

III -V solar cells have a long track record, starting with the Russian Venera missions to Venus in the 1960s, and are now used for almost all communication satellites. III -V semiconductors can be fabricated to produce multi-junction devices that span the solar spectrum; the current world record for solar power conversion (December 2011) is 37.9% for a triple junction solar cell under one sun illumination. For fundamental thermodynamic reasons, the efficiency of these solar cells rises under increased concentration, so the highest efficiency concentrator solar cell (illustrated) presently operates at 43.2%. At such efficiencies, large scale, terrestrial solar power generation using concentrator systems in the deserts becomes feasible. The technological developments underpinning these achievements will be discussed, together with an outlook of the present challenges and likely near term progress.

This talk is part of the Cambridge and Anglian Materials Society meetings series.

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