A new theoretical approach is proposed for the performance simulation of multijunction (MJ) solar cells, starting from the weakness and strength of the Hovel model and of the transfer matrix method for describing the propagation of electromagnetic waves inside the solar cell structure. It is based on the scattering matrix method (SMM) and on a simplified generation function that allow describing with good accuracy the propagation of electromagnetic waves in the solar cell device, preserving, at the same time, the possibility of getting simple analytical solutions of the continuity equations. The numerical stability of the new theoretical approach is first demonstrated on triple junction InGaP/InGaAs/Ge solar cells, in which the Ge substrate is considered as the last layer (layer N) and then as the N-1 layer. Further, the new theoretical approach is applied to simulate the performance of thin quadruple junction (QJ) InGaP/InGaAs/SiGeSn/Ge solar cells, in two- and three-terminal configurations. Efficiency values of up to 45.1% and 44.9%, respectively, have been simulated at 1000× concentration, by considering the MJ limited by the InGaAs subcell. Finally, it is estimated that the QJ InGaP/InGaAs/SiGeSn/Ge solar cell has the potential to reach efficiencies over 50% by assuming proper antireflective coatings.
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