Detailed Balance Limit of Efficiency of p‐n Junction Solar Cells

William Shockley, Hans J. Queisser
1961 Journal of Applied Physics  
order t? find an upper theoretical limit for the efficiency of p-n junction solar energy converters, a limiting effiCiency, called the detailed balance limit of efficiency, has been calculated for an ideal case in which the cmly recombin.ation of hole-electron pairs is radiative as required by the principle of detailed b.alance. The effiCiency IS calculated for the case in which radiative recombination is only a fixed fraction f. of the total recombmation, the rest being nonradiative.
more » ... es at the matched loads have been calculated with band gap and f. as parameters, the sun and cell being assumed to be blackbodies with temperatures of 6OO0 o K and 30(tK, The efficiency is found to be 30% for an energy gap of 1.1. ev and fc= 1: Actual JunctIOns do not obey the predicted current-voltage relationship, and reasons for the difference and Its relevance to efficiency are discussed.
doi:10.1063/1.1736034 fatcat:haslcq25sbaoxgvb7kw4jqiucm