The III-Nitride semiconductors family, and particularly the alloys containing InN, is a class of materials with unique properties, offering the potential to revolutionize photovoltaic technology. The InGaN alloy system, essentially covers the full solar spectrum at earth surface. It is ideal for the realization of advanced heterostructure solar cells, with ultra-high efficiency and with reduced cost production, as compared to contemporary technologies that need to employ multiple material families, in order to efficiently convert a broad part of AM1.5 solar radiation. III-Nitrides offer the advantage of a robust, chemically inert and environmentally friendly material system, not containing toxic substances as arsenic or phosphorus, as well as, an exceptional radiation resistance, which is essential for long term, degradation-free, efficient operation.
Nitphoto aims to develop innovative photovoltaic technology, based on III-Nitride semiconductors, capitalizing on the particular expertise of the involved research groups, by implementing four complementary parallel research actions:
- optimization of the epitaxy of III-Nitride thin films and advanced heterostructures by molecular beam epitaxy,
- in-depth study of their structural and optoelectronic properties related to photovoltaic applications,
- exploration of amorphous and polycrystalline III-Nitrides growth by sputtering methods intended to low-cost and large area applications and
- design, simulation and realization of high-efficiency advanced heterostructure devices, such as InGaN-based tandem multijunction solar cells.
For the realization of this goal, unique growth techniques, such as molecular beam epitaxy, that was proven to deliver high-quality InGaN alloys, without problems related to phase separation, in the full ternary composition range, will be combined with advanced material and device characterization methods and thorough theoretical studies and device simulation efforts.