Intermediate band solar cells (IBSCs) fabricated to date from In(Ga)As/GaAs quantum dot arrays (QD-IBSC) exhibit a quantum efficiency (QE) that extends to below bandgap energies. However, the production of sub-bandgap photocurrent relies often on the thermal and/or tunneling escape of carriers from the QDs, which is incompatible with preservation of the output voltage. In this work, we test the effectiveness of introducing a thick GaAs spacer in addition to an InAlGaAs strain relief layer (SRL) over the QDs to reduce carrier escape. From an analysis of the QE at different temperatures, it is concluded that escape via tunneling can be completely blocked under short-circuit conditions, and that carriers confined in QDs with an InAlGaAs SRL exhibit a thermal escape activation energy over 100 meV larger than in the case of InAs QDs capped only with GaAs.

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