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RFMD fabricates dual-junction PV cells

Posted: 09 Mar 2011     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:photovoltaic  PV  cells  dual-junction 

RF Micro Devices Inc. announces the successful fabrication of dual-junction PV cells that combine gallium arsenide (GaAs) and indium gallium phosphide (InGaP) PV junctions using the company's standard six-inch semiconductor equipment.

RFMD will now focus on triple-junction structures, with the end goal of developing a commercially viable and high volume-capable compound semiconductor-based process for high-performance PV cells.

In 2009, RFMD entered into a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) for the purpose of developing a production capable process technology for high-performance PV cells. The current dual-junction achievement and associated performance characteristics are consistent with results achieved by NREL in their development of Inverted Metamorphic Multi-Junction (IMM) technology. NREL's technology has demonstrated one of the world's highest reported solar cell conversion efficiencies, at 40.8 per cent, and continued substantial improvements in efficiency are anticipated.

RFMD's dual-junction achievement was realised using the company's existing manufacturing capabilities and supply chain. The conversion efficiency achieved across RFMD's six-inch wafers was exceptionally uniform, enabling high device yields and tight distributions in CPV product performance.

RFMD's development efforts related to a compound semiconductor-based process for PV cells are broadly applicable across technologies, including IMM as well as conventional triple-junction Germanium-based CPV devices. RFMD anticipates multiple opportunities related to PV cells and is engaged with CPV system integrators and solar cell module manufacturers.

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