Evaluation d’une filière technologique de cellules photovoltaïques multi-jonctions à base de matériaux antimoniures (III-V)-Sb pour applications aux très fortes concentrations solaires

Abstract : Photovoltaic (PV) solar energy consists on the ability of certain materials to convert the photon energy into electric current. The development of PV conversion systems in the past thirty years has led to considerable improvements in terms of cost and performance in the field of renewable energies.A multi-junction (MJ) cell, based on III-V semiconductor materials, is a stack of sub-cells with decreasing gaps which notably allows wider use of the solar spectrum. Exposing these PV cells to a concentrated solar flux can significantly increase the electrical power generated, and therefore substantially lower the cost of electricity yielded.The world record is currently held by the partnership Soitec / Fraunhofer ISE with an efficiency of 46.0 % measured on a four-junction cell GaInP/GaAs//InGaAsP/InGaAs for a concentration ratio of 508 X (where 1 X = 1 sun = 1 kW/m²).The objective of the work in this thesis is to propose an alternative to existing cells, easier to implement with monolithic MJ cells grown on a GaSb substrate for solar concentrations of 1 000, which corresponds to a direct irradiance of 1 MW/m². This type of cell, due to the good complementary of the material gaps and its favorable band alignments, is a realistic and original alternative to existing cells for use under highly concentrated solar flux.To better understand the optimal multijunction III-Sb cell, the work carried out consisted on the manufacturing and characterization of the three sub-cells independently.These three epitaxial samples are Al0,9Ga0,1As0,07Sb0,93 (Top cell), the Al0,35Ga0,65As0,03Sb0,97 (Middle cell) and GaSb (Bottom cell) having as respective gaps 1.6 eV, 1.22 eV and 0.726 eV at 300 K.The work presented in this thesis is:- The establishment of all the technological steps required to manufacture the cells (metal deposition, wet and dry plasma etching ...).- The characterization of metallization by TLM structure (Transmission Line Method) with the best result being a three-layer metallization Cr/Pd/Au (30/30/30 nm) on a GaSb P-type substrate.- The characterization under dark of current-voltage electrical parameters of PV cells at room temperature and in function of the temperature.- The thermal characterization by measuring the thermal conductivity of the materials and a surface temperature mapping in function of the concentrated solar flux in realistic conditions.- The electro-optical characterization by spectral response, from which we calculated the external quantum efficiency which is the ratio between the amount of electrons created and the amount of incident photons.- The characterization under 1 sun illumination (1 000 W/m²) in a solar simulator and in realistic conditions of which we compared the electrical parameters.- The characterization of solar cells under (highly) concentrated solar flux in the PROMES laboratory.The best efficiencies for Bottom, Middle and Top PV cells respectively are 4.6 % for 40 X (close to the state of the art), 8.2 % for 96 X and 5.4 % for 185 X (world first for these quaternary materials).This work was cofounded by the Ministry of Education and Research (ED Research grant) and Labex SOLSTICE.
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Emmanuel Giudicelli. Evaluation d’une filière technologique de cellules photovoltaïques multi-jonctions à base de matériaux antimoniures (III-V)-Sb pour applications aux très fortes concentrations solaires. Electronique. Université Montpellier, 2016. Français. ⟨NNT : 2016MONTT330⟩. ⟨tel-01816922⟩

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