Optical concentrators are used to focus sunlight onto a smaller area where a photovoltaic cell is located in order to reduce the total area (and cost) of PV cells. Concentrators often have problems assocated with higher temperatures and the need to be moved to track the movement of the sun. This technology utilizes double sided PVs and multiple optical elements as a concentrating system to avoid the need for a moving concentrator.
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.