An edge illuminated photovoltaic device is a photovoltaic device in which light illuminates a p-n junction through the edge of the device (i.e. in the direction substantially non-parallel) to the direction defined by the devices electrical contacts to the outer surface. While these devices are advantageous, they are yet to achieve the high efficiency and low cost required for commerical viability. This invention relates to the fabrication of horizontally stacked, p-n junction type semiconductor devices for photovoltaic energy conversion via edge illumination. The invention enables high efficiency cell fabrication (using multi-component semiconductor alloys) at extremely low processing costs. These cells would find applications in various photovoltaic and thermophotovoltaic systems including concentrator based systems.