RESEARCH
September 8, 2008

Semiconductors stand out for getting more out of light

Get a single photon to knock loose more than one electron in a solar cell and you get more electricity for the same amount of sunlight. Researchers are working out how to take advantage of this carrier multiplication effect to improve solar cells.

An analysis of semiconductor nanocrystals shows that lead selenide, silicon, gallium arsenide, cadmium selenide and indium phosphide are better for carrier multiplication than other types.

Research paper:
Carrier Multiplication in Semiconductor Nanocrystals: Theoretical Screening of Candidate Materials Based on Band-Structure Effects
Nano Letters, published online August 26, 2008

Researchers' homepages:
Jun-Wei Luo
Alberto Franceschetti
Alex Zunger

Related stories and briefs:
Nano gives solar 2-for-1 -- a precursor


Back to ERN September 8/15, 2008

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