Electrical and Computer Engineering ETDs


Jacob Dunken

Publication Date



The space environment is very harsh on photovoltaic devices. Solar protons (hydrogen ions) cause large numbers of vacancies, which act as recombination centers at deep levels and can create compensating defects that reduce the acceptor concentration at shallow levels in semiconductors. This in turn, can reduce the output power generated by photovoltaic devices. Damage can also occur from atomic oxygen, plasma discharges and electron irradiation. Solar arrays have to be manufactured to produce more power than necessary so that the solar array will still produce the needed amount of power after degradation occurring from charged particle irradiation. A major challenge is to be able to model these devices so that the effects of charged particle irradiation can be taken into account in calculations for the End of Life (EOL) open-circuit voltage, short-circuit-current, fillfactor,and efficiency. Models presently being used do not provide distinct values without more calculations. Also, models presently being used tend to have proton irradiation incident normal to the surface, which does not reflect actual conditions, and require a significant amount of input data. In an effort to correct these problems, a new model was created that finds the remaining factor of the normalized basic cell parameters for CuInGaSe2 (CIGS) solar cells. This model uses significantly fewer inputs than other computer models, provides a more realistic model with respect to entry angles of incident protons, and provides actual and normalized values without extra calculations.


Solar cells--Effect of radiation on

Document Type




Degree Name

Electrical Engineering

Level of Degree


Department Name

Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Committee Member (Chair)

Granata, Jennifer

Second Committee Member

Chen, Jingkuang