Effect of proton irradiation fluence on the performance of the AlxGa1-xAs/GaAs p+nn+ solar cell

W. Laiadi, A.F. Meftah, C. Laiadi


Abstract:The particles' radiation as protons induces severe degradation on the performance of solar cells used in the space application. This degradation is usually attributed to lattice damage in the active region of the solar cell. In this work numerical simulator SCAPS is used to model the effect of 1 MeV proton irradiation on the performance degradation of p+-n-n+ GaAs solar cell. The effect is predicted by the calculation of the current–voltage characteristics under AM0 illumination for a several doses of proton irradiation. Simulating the effect of electron and hole trap levels, deep and less deep helps to find out which of them is responsible for the degradation of particular output parameter. The simulation results have shown that the extracted output parameters of the cell JSC, VOC, FF, η before irradiation are: 24 mA/cm2, 1.01 V, 0.88 and 15.65 %, respectively and  a p+-n-n+GaAs solar cell is sensitive to 1013 cm-2  proton irradiation fluence, the conversion efficiency η  is the most sensitive parameter of the cell with a degradation ratio of 0.4. The deep electron traps, PR1 and PR2 are responsible for the degradation of the solar cell. The obtained results have shown that the resistivity of the solar cell to proton irradiation has improved by making the  n+ GaAs collector thickness thinner,  the conversion efficiency and the short circuit current density Jsc of the solar cell is increased to 6.7%, and 17.88 mA/cm2  of the initial value,  respectively. 

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