New Publication from the SUNLAB: IEEE Journal of Photovoltaics

SUNLAB has published a new paper in IEEE Journal of Photovoltaics, first-authored by postdoctoral fellow Dr. Meghan Beattie. In collaboration with researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE in Germany, the SUNLAB team studied two highly efficient O-band photonic power converter designs, demonstrating their potential for powering devices requiring less than 250 mW with an appropriate illumination profile. This work is part of the AIIR-Power (Artificial Intelligence Enhanced Design and Manufacturing of Infrared Photonic Power Converters for Power and Telecom) project, a German-Canadian collaborative effort funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the National Research Council of Canada

Abstract: Photonic power converters (PPCs), which convert narrow-band light to electricity, are essential components in power-by-light systems. When designed for telecommunications wavelengths such as the O-band, near 1310 nm, the devices are well-suited to power-over-fiber applications. Despite the potential for very high power conversion efficiencies ( >50% ), PPCs can be adversely affected by high-intensity nonuniform illumination conditions. In this work, we characterized two O-band PPC designs based on: high-quality InGaAsP absorber material lattice-matched to an InP substrate, and metamorphic InGaAs absorber material lattice-mismatched to a GaAs substrate, a more cost-effective and scalable alternative. We measured each device under O-band laser illumination with five beam profiles having peak-to-average ratios ranging from 2 to 11. Both devices were insensitive to the beam uniformity for input illumination with average irradiance below 2 W/cm2 over their 5.4-mm2 active areas, but exhibited better open-circuit voltages under larger, more uniform illumination profiles at higher incident powers. Measured efficiencies reached 52.8% and 48.7% for the lattice-matched and mismatched devices, respectively. Distributed circuit modeling results suggested that both lateral conduction losses and localized heating effects were responsible for the measured dependence on beam-size. Our work demonstrates the potential for O-band PPCs, presenting two highly efficient designs suitable for powering devices requiring ≲250 mW, with an appropriate illumination profile.

Click here for the full article.

M. N. Beattie, H. Helmers, G. P. Forcade, C. E. Valdivia, O. Höhn, and K. Hinzer, InP- and GaAs-based photonic power converters under O-band laser illumination: Performance analysis and comparison, IEEE J. Photovolt. (2022). DOI: 10.1109/JPHOTOV.2022.3218938