Printing-based assembly of quadruple-junction four-terminal microscale solar cells and their use in high-efficiency modules

Xing Sheng, Christopher A. Bower, Salvatore Bonafede, John W. Wilson, Brent Fisher, Matthew Meitl, Homan Yuen, Shuodao Wang, Ling Shen, Anthony R. Banks, Christopher J. Corcoran, Ralph G. Nuzzo, Scott Burroughs*, John A. Rogers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

129 Scopus citations


Expenses associated with shipping, installation, land, regulatory compliance and on-going maintenance and operations of utility-scale photovoltaics can be significantly reduced by increasing the power conversion efficiency of solar modules through improved materials, device designs and strategies for light management. Single-junction cells have performance constraints defined by their Shockley-Queisser limits. Multi-junction cells can achieve higher efficiencies, but epitaxial and current matching requirements between the single junctions in the devices hinder progress. Mechanical stacking of independent multi-junction cells circumvents these disadvantages. Here we present a fabrication approach for the realization of mechanically assembled multi-junction cells using materials and techniques compatible with large-scale manufacturing. The strategy involves printing-based stacking of microscale solar cells, sol-gel processes for interlayers with advanced optical, electrical and thermal properties, together with unusual packaging techniques, electrical matching networks, and compact ultrahigh-concentration optics. We demonstrate quadruple-junction, four-terminal solar cells with measured efficiencies of 43.9% at concentrations exceeding 1,000 suns, and modules with efficiencies of 36.5%.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)593-598
Number of pages6
JournalNature materials
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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