Next Generation Solar Cells

Missouri S&T researchers have developed a novel solar cell design for use in the next generation solar cells. This invention related to the development of wide direct band gap (>1.4eV) n-type semiconductor solar cells (SC). These SCs do not utilize p-n junctions but instead use Schottky biasing layers to produce surface junction and depletion zones that couple with a unique collection system. The resulting SCs are called Isolated Collection and Biasing System (ICBS) solar cells. These ICBS SCs may be operated individually or can be placed, for example, on top of a traditional silicon SC to form a tandem SC. They can form a hybrid structure with a transparent insulator or semiconductor window layer between the SCs or an integrated structure where the ICBS SC is deposited directly on the silicon SC or on other intermediate layers also grown directly on the silicon SC. Current silicon SCs on the market have a theoretical efficiency of 30%, with a bandgap of ~1.1eV. By adding a second layer of ICBS SC at 1.8eV this tandem cell design now has a theoretical efficiency of 42%. This new type of SC makes it possible to capture energy from a larger spectrum of photons and opens up new design possibilities for tandem and hybrid SC designs.


  • Direct semiconductor solar cells

State of Development

  • Disclosure submitted July of 2019

Additional Details

Owner: Missouri, Science & Technology

IP Protection Status: Pending Patent