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Quantum-well solar cells for space; The Impact of carrier removal on end-of-life device performance

Hoheisel, R.*; Gonz$'a$lez, M.*; Lumb, M.*; Scheiman, D.*; Messenger, S. R.*; Bailey, C. G.*; Lorentzen, J.*; Tibbits, T. N. D.*; Imaizumi, Mitsuru*; Oshima, Takeshi; Sato, Shinichiro; Jenkins, P. P.*; Walters, R. J.*

Analysis on the radiation response of solar cells with multi quantum wells (MQW) included in the quasi-intrinsic region between the emitter and the base layer is presented. We found that in the case of MQW devices, carrier removal (CR) effects are also observed. Experimental measurements and numerical simulations reveal that with increasing radiation dose, CR can cause the initially quasi-intrinsic background doping of the MQW region to become specifically n- or p-type. This can result in a significant narrowing and even the collapse of the electric field between the emitter and the base where the MQWs are located. The implications of the CR-induced modification of the electric field on the current-voltage characteristics and on the collection efficiency of carriers generated within the emitter, the MQW region, and the base are discussed for different radiation dose conditions. This paper concludes with a discussion of improved radiation hard MQW device designs.

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