Semiconductor nanostructure quantum ratchet for high efficiency solar cells

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Title: Semiconductor nanostructure quantum ratchet for high efficiency solar cells
Authors: Vaquero-Stainer, A
Yoshida, M
Hylton, NP
Pusch, A
Curtin, O
Frogley, M
Wilson, T
Clarke, E
Kennedy, K
Ekins-Daukes, NJ
Hess, O
Phillips, CC
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: Conventional solar cell efficiencies are capped by the ~31% Shockley–Queisser limit because, even with an optimally chosen bandgap, some red photons will go unabsorbed and the excess energy of the blue photons is wasted as heat. Here we demonstrate a “quantum ratchet” device that avoids this limitation by inserting a pair of linked states that form a metastable photoelectron trap in the bandgap. It is designed both to reduce non-radiative recombination, and to break the Shockley–Queisser limit by introducing an additional “sequential two photon absorption” (STPA) excitation channel across the bandgap. We realise the quantum ratchet concept with a semiconductor nanostructure. It raises the electron lifetime in the metastable trap by ~104, and gives a STPA channel that increases the photocurrent by a factor of ~50%. This result illustrates a new paradigm for designing ultra-efficient photovoltaic devices.
Issue Date: 8-Mar-2018
Date of Acceptance: 16-Jan-2018
ISSN: 2399-3650
Journal / Book Title: Communications Physics
Volume: 1
Copyright Statement: © The Author(s) 2018. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article ’ s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article ’ s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit licenses/by/4.0/
Sponsor/Funder: The Leverhulme Trust
Sharp Laboratories of Europe Ltd
Engineering & Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC)
European Office Of Aerospace Research & Developmen
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
Funder's Grant Number: F/07 058/BK
Keywords: Science & Technology
Physical Sciences
Physics, Multidisciplinary
Publication Status: Published
Article Number: ARTN 7
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Engineering
Condensed Matter Theory
Experimental Solid State
Centre for Environmental Policy
Faculty of Natural Sciences

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