Forward-biased current annealing of radiation degraded indium phosphide and gallium arsenide solar cells
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The preliminary results of a novel approach to low-temperature annealing of previously irradiated indium phosphide and gallium arsenide solar cells are reported. The technique is based on forward-biased current annealing. The two types of III-V solar cells were irradiated with 1-MeV electrons to a fluence level of (1-10) x 10 to the 14th electrons/sq cm. Several annealing attempts were made, varying all conditions. Optimum annealing was achieved when cells were injected with minority currents at a constant 90 C. The current density for each type of cell was also determined. Significant recovery of degraded parameters was achieved in both cases. However, the InP cell recovery notably exceeded the recovery in GaAs cells. The recovery is thought to be caused by current-stimulated reordering of the radiator-induced displacement damage. Both types of cell were then subjected to several cycles of irradiation and annealing. The results were also very promising. The significant recovery of degraded cell parameters at low temperature might play a major role in considerably extending the end of life of future spacecraft.
SEE A91-4187621st IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference; May 21-25, 1990; Kissimmee, FL; United States
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