+44 (0)24 7671 8970
More publications     •     Advertise with us     •     Contact us
News Article

Soitec III-V cell raises the bar with 43.6 percent efficiency

The firm's four-junction technology innovation opens the path to competitiveness in the PV industry
Soitec has revealed what it says is the industry’s first four-junction solar cell device, which works under concentrated sunlight.

This breakthrough puts the company on the solar-energy industry’s technology roadmap at an outstanding 43.6 percent efficiency.

The development is thanks to a strong collaboration between solar cell device and epitaxial growth centres of expertise combined with Soitec’s experience in substrate-bonding and layer-transfer technologies.

Soitec believes this validates the unique roadmap enabling the target of a 50 percent efficiency level.

Soitec’s four-junction solar cell was measured by the Fraunhofer ISE Calibration Laboratory.
This measurement was achieved at a concentration level of 319 suns. The new cell has demonstrated more than 43 percent energy-generating efficiency over a concentration range between 250 and 500.

Today’s triple-junction solar cells used in commercial concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) modules in real-world applications are approaching their physical limits in converting sunlight into renewable energy.

Soitec’s four- junction cell is designed to increase the conversion efficiency of commercial CPV systems to the highest level ever achieved by any photovoltaic technology.

The innovative four-junction cell uses two new, highly sophisticated dual-junction sub cells grown on different III-V compound materials. It allows optimal band-gap combinations tailored to capture a broader range of the solar spectrum. This maximises energy-generating efficiency.

Soitec is leveraging its Smart Stacking bonding and Smart Cut layer-transfer technologies to successfully stack non-lattice-matched materials while also raising the possibility of re-using expensive materials.

The new cell was developed in collaboration with the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE) in Freiburg, Germany, and the Helmholtz-Zentrum für Materialien und Energie in Berlin, which developed and deposited III-V epitaxial layers on new base materials as well as fabricating and characterising the device.

CEA-Leti, France’s research institute for electronics and information technologies also participated in the project . It contributed its expertise in mechanically strong, electrically conductive and optically transparent bonding interfaces as well as layer-transfer engineering of III-V compound materials.

“Boosting efficiency levels is a key step in outperforming the economics of conventional PV. This great achievement brings strong value to our solar division and validates our strategy and business model in the solar market,” says André-Jacques Auberton-Hervé, CEO of Soitec.

“Through our collaboration with the Fraunhofer and the Leti, two world-class R&D partners, our own leadership experience in materials and bonding technologies as well as our CPV commercial experience, we have been able to achieve this major advancement in a very short time. This represents a major proof-of-concept, on track to demonstrate a concentrated solar cell with 50 percent efficiency as soon as 2015,” he adds.

Search the news archive

To close this popup you can press escape or click the close icon.
Register - Step 1

You may choose to subscribe to the Compound Semiconductor Magazine, the Compound Semiconductor Newsletter, or both. You may also request additional information if required, before submitting your application.

Please subscribe me to:


You chose the industry type of "Other"

Please enter the industry that you work in:
Please enter the industry that you work in: