Characterization and analysis of InAs/p-Si heterojunction nanowire-based solar cell
The growth of compound semiconductor nanowires on the silicon platform has opened many new perspectives in the area of electronics, optoelectronics and photovoltaics. We have grown a 1 x 1 mm(2) array of InAs nanowires on p-type silicon for the fabrication of a solar cell. Even though the nanowires are spaced by a distance of 800 nm with a 3.3% filling volume, they absorb most of the incoming light resulting in an efficiency of 1.4%. Due to the unfavourable band alignment, carrier separation at the junction is poor. Photocurrent increases sharply at the surrounding edge with the silicon, where the nanowires do not absorb anymore. This is further proof of the enhanced absorption of semiconductors in nanowire form. This work brings further elements in the design of nanowire-based solar cells.