Among many available photovoltaic technologies at present, gallium arsenide (GaAs) is one of the recognized leaders for performance and reliability; however, it is still a great challenge to achieve cost-effective GaAs solar cells for smart systems such as transparent and flexible photovoltaics. In this study, highly crystalline long GaAs nanowires (NWs) with minimal crystal defects are synthesized economically by chemical vapor deposition and configured into novel Schottky photovoltaic structures by simply using asymmetric Au-Al contacts. Without any doping profiles such as p-n junction and complicated coaxial junction structures, the single NW Schottky device shows a record high apparent energy conversion efficiency of 16% under air mass 1.5 global illumination by normalizing to the projection area of the NW. The corresponding photovoltaic output can be further enhanced by connecting individual cells in series and in parallel as well as by fabricating NW array solar cells via contact printing showing an overall efficiency of 1.6%. Importantly, these Schottky cells can be easily integrated on the glass and plastic substrates for transparent and flexible photovoltaics, which explicitly demonstrate the outstanding versatility and promising perspective of these GaAs NW Schottky photovoltaics for next-generation smart solar energy harvesting devices.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- General Materials Science