Hot Carrier solar cell absorbers: materials, mechanisms and nanostructures

Gavin Conibeer*, Santosh Shrestha, Shujuan Huang, Robert Patterson, Hongze Xia, Yu Feng, Pengfei Zhang, Neeti Gupta, Murad Tayebjee, Suntrana Smyth, Yuanxun Liao, Zhilong Zhang, Simon Chung, Shu Lin, Pei Wang, Xi Dai

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


The hot carrier cell aims to extract the electrical energy from photo-generated carriers before they thermalize to the band edges. Hence it can potentially achieve a high current and a high voltage and hence very high efficiencies up to 65% under 1 sun and 86% under maximum concentration. To slow the rate of carrier thermalisation is very challenging, but modification of the phonon energies and the use of nanostructures are both promising ways to achieve some of the required slowing of carrier cooling. A number of materials and structures are being investigated with these properties and test structures are being fabricated. Initial measurements indicate slowed carrier cooling in III-Vs with large phonon band gaps and in multiple quantum wells. It is expected that soon proof of concept of hot carrier devices will pave the way for their development to fully functioning high efficiency solar cells.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNext Generation Technologies for Solar Energy Conversion V
EditorsOleg V. Sulima, Gavin Conibeer
Place of PublicationBellingham, WA
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9781628412055
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes
EventNext Generation Technologies for Solar Energy Conversion V - San Diego, United States
Duration: 19 Aug 201420 Aug 2014

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


ConferenceNext Generation Technologies for Solar Energy Conversion V
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego


  • phonons
  • carrier cooling
  • hot carriers
  • time resolved photoluminescence
  • Klemens decay
  • multiple quantum wells


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