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VLSI Design
Volume 8 (1998), Issue 1-4, Pages 419-422

Formulation of a Self-Consistent Model for Quantum Well pin Solar Cells: Dark Behavior

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Nevada, Las Vegas 89154, USA

Copyright © 1998 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


A self-consistent numerical simulation model for a pin single-cell solar cell is formulated. The solar cell device consists of a p–AlGaAs region, an intrinsic i–AlGaAs/GaAs region with several quantum wells, and a n–AlGaAs region. Our simulator solves a field-dependent Schrödinger equation self-consistently with Poisson and drift-diffusion equations. The field-dependent Schrödinger equation is solved using the transfer matrix method. The eigenfunctions and eigenenergies obtained are used to calculate the escape rate of carriers from the quantum wells, the capture rates of carriers by the wells, the absorption spectra in the wells, and the non-radiative recombination rates of carriers in the quantum wells. These rates are then used in a self-consistent finite-difference numerical Poisson-drift-diffusion solver. We believe this is the first such comprehensive model ever reported.