Prediction of the performance degradation of GaAs solar cells by electron irradiation

Solar cells exposed to irradiation undergo severe degradation in their
performance due to induced structural defects. To predict this effect, the current-voltage
characteristics under AM0 illumination for a constant dose of electron irradiation are
numerically calculated. From these characteristics the solar cell output parameters : the
short circuit current density Jsc, the open circuit voltage Voc, the fill factor FF and the
conversion efficiency η are extracted. The irradiation induced defects introduce in the
energy gap either recombination centres or traps. The irradiation induced degradation is
widely attributed to the first type of defects. We have adopted a strategy to find out which
defects are responsible for the degradation. This consists of simulating the effect of each
defect separately on the output parameters. The simulation results show that traps are
mainly responsible for the degradation of Jsc while recombination centres are responsible
the degradation of Voc. The other parameters (FF and η) are degraded by the
combination of the traps and recombination centres.

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