Detailed-balance power conversion limits of nanocrystal-quantum-dot solar cells in the presence of carrier multiplication

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Abstract

Semiconductor nanocrystals can respond to absorption of a single photon by producing multiple electron-hole pairs with extremely high efficiencies. This letter analyzes the impact of this carrier-multiplication (CM) phenomenon on power conversion limits of solar cells using detailed-balance considerations that take into account practical values of CM efficiencies measured in experimental studies. For PbSe nanocrystals that exhibit a ca. 3E g CM threshold (E g is the energy gap), the calculated maximum detailed-balance efficiency is 36% in the presence of CM versus 31% in the no-CM case. An increase to 42% is possible if the CM threshold is at its theoretical minimum of 2E g.

Original languageEnglish
Article number123118
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Volume89
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2006

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multiplication
nanocrystals
solar cells
quantum dots
thresholds
photons

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)

Cite this

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abstract = "Semiconductor nanocrystals can respond to absorption of a single photon by producing multiple electron-hole pairs with extremely high efficiencies. This letter analyzes the impact of this carrier-multiplication (CM) phenomenon on power conversion limits of solar cells using detailed-balance considerations that take into account practical values of CM efficiencies measured in experimental studies. For PbSe nanocrystals that exhibit a ca. 3E g CM threshold (E g is the energy gap), the calculated maximum detailed-balance efficiency is 36{\%} in the presence of CM versus 31{\%} in the no-CM case. An increase to 42{\%} is possible if the CM threshold is at its theoretical minimum of 2E g.",
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AB - Semiconductor nanocrystals can respond to absorption of a single photon by producing multiple electron-hole pairs with extremely high efficiencies. This letter analyzes the impact of this carrier-multiplication (CM) phenomenon on power conversion limits of solar cells using detailed-balance considerations that take into account practical values of CM efficiencies measured in experimental studies. For PbSe nanocrystals that exhibit a ca. 3E g CM threshold (E g is the energy gap), the calculated maximum detailed-balance efficiency is 36% in the presence of CM versus 31% in the no-CM case. An increase to 42% is possible if the CM threshold is at its theoretical minimum of 2E g.

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