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Ultrahigh efficiencies in vertical epitaxial heterostructure
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Optical to electrical power converting semiconductor devices were achieved with
breakthrough performance by designing a Vertical EpitaxialHeterostructure
Architecture. The devices are featuring modeled and measured conversion efficiencies
greater than 65%. The ultrahigh conversion efficiencies were obtained by monolithically
integrating several thin GaAs photovoltaic junctions tailored with submicron absorption
thicknesses and grown in a single crystal by epitaxy. The heterostructures that were engineered with a number
N of such ultrathin junctions yielded an optimal external quantum
efficiencies approaching 100%/N. The heterostructures are capable of
output voltages that are multiple times larger than the corresponding photovoltage of the
input light. The individual nanoscale junctions are each generating up to ∼1.2 V of output
voltage when illuminated in the infrared. We compare the optoelectronic properties of phototransducers
prepared with designs having 5 to 12 junctions and that are exhibiting voltage outputs
between >5 V and >14 V.
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