InGaN-based solar cells for space applications

Yuji Zhao, Xuanqi Huang, Houqiang Fu, Hong Chen, Zhijian Lu, Jossue Montes, Izak Baranowski

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

15 Scopus citations


III-nitrides InGaN solar cells have exhibited many favorable physical properties for space photovoltaic (PV) applications. Here we demonstrate the first nonpolar and semipolar InGaN/GaN multiple-quantum-well (MQW) solar cells grown on nonpolar m-plane and semipolar (2021) plane bulk GaN substrates. The optical properties and PV performance of these InGaN solar cells were systematically studied, including the absorption spectra, current density-voltage (J-V) characteristics, external quantum efficiency (EQE), and internal quantum efficiency (IQE). Overall nonpolar m-plane InGaN/GaN MQW solar cells demonstrated the best performance across all devices, with a high open-circuit voltage and the highest EQE and IQE. This huge difference is attributed to the better carrier transport and collection on nonpolar m-plane devices due to the reduced polarization effects, which were further confirmed by bias-dependent EQE measurements. Furthermore, high temperature measurements reveal that peak EQE values exceeds 80% at 500 °C and a positive thermal power coefficient up to 350 °C for nonpolar m-plane solar cells. These results demonstrate the high potential of nonpolar and semipolar InGaN solar cells for high temperature PV applications, which are required for space missions close to the sun.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2017 IEEE 60th International Midwest Symposium on Circuits and Systems, MWSCAS 2017
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages4
ISBN (Electronic)9781509063895
StatePublished - Sep 27 2017
Event60th IEEE International Midwest Symposium on Circuits and Systems, MWSCAS 2017 - Boston, United States
Duration: Aug 6 2017Aug 9 2017

Publication series

NameMidwest Symposium on Circuits and Systems
ISSN (Print)1548-3746


Other60th IEEE International Midwest Symposium on Circuits and Systems, MWSCAS 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • High temperature
  • III-V semiconductors
  • InGaN
  • Quantum wells
  • Solar cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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