III–V nanowire photovoltaics: Review of design for high efficiency



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This article reviews recent developments in nanowire-based photovoltaics (PV) with an emphasis on III–V semiconductors including growth mechanisms, device fabrication and performance results. We first review the available nanowire growth methods followed by control of nanowire growth direction and crystal structure. Important device issues are reviewed, including optical absorption, carrier collection, strain accommodation, design for high efficiency, tunnel junctions, Ohmic contact formation, passivation and doping. Performance data of III–V nanowire cells and the primary challenges in nanowire PV are summarized. Many of the issues discussed here are also applicable to other nanowire devices such as photodetectors. (© 2013 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim)