- Carrier dynamics in coupled silicon nanocrystal systems
- Award date
- 20 May 2016
- Number of pages
- Document type
- PhD thesis
- Faculty of Science (FNWI)
- Van der Waals-Zeeman Institute (WZI)
The transition from conventional (fossil fuel based) energy generation methods to renewable energy variants is set in motion but can certainly use an additional impulse. A good example is the solar energy market which is struggling since industry "gray-current" electricity-prices are low enough to prevent a smooth and effective transition to a photovoltaic-dominated electricity market. One way of breaking the established equilibrium is to increase the conversion efficiencies of solar panels without inducing skyrocketing prices. Typically, high-energy (ultra-violet) solar photons are inefficiently converted into electricity due to thermalization and front surface recombination. A possible route towards the efficiency increase is to make use of spectral shaper layers, which are add-on devices that can be combined with solar cells in order to transform the solar spectrum into a range optimal for efficient conversion by the cell. This dissertation focuses on the investigation of Si nanocrystals for the purpose of being used in these spectral shapers. The nano-scale dimensions of the Si particles increase their interaction potential with light due to quantum confinement. As a result, changes are induced in (among others) the bandstructure, transition strength and the electron-photon coupling. By making use of the bandgap tunability of Si nanocrystals that arises from quantum confinement, the problem of front surface recombination can be completely surmounted; a result that can in principle also be obtained without the use of nano-materials. In contrast, Si nanocrystals might be able to circumvent the thermalization losses as well, by efficient dipole-dipole interactions between proximal nanocrystals.
- Subtitle on the cover: A route towards more efficient sustainable energy.
Research conducted at: Universiteit van Amsterdam
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