The focus of this paper is the characterization of novel thermophotovoltaic (TPV) cell designs which employ a monovalent barrier layer in the p-n junction. The use of a barrier layer enables these cells to operate at longer wavelengths, higher efficiencies, and higher operating temperatures. Initial designs have been made using gallium antimonide (GaSb), which is one of the more common TPV materials. Simulations were performed using Sentaurus by Synopsys to determine barrier materials as well as to optimize the cell. The p-B-n cell was then compared to a simple p-n junction. The simulations show that a p-B-n cell outperforms a typical p-n junction. Additionally, we expect to see increased performance differentials from this device structure when moving to longer wavelength devices.
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DeMeo, D.F., Vandervelde, T.E. Simulations of Gallium Antimonide (GaSb) p-B-n Thermophotovoltaic Cells. MRS Online Proceedings Library 1329, 1110 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1557/opl.2011.1469