Hot Carrier solar cell absorbers: superstructures, materials and mechanisms for slowed carrier cooling

Gavin Conibeer*, Santosh Shrestha, Shujuan Huang, Robert Patterson, Pasquale Aliberti, Hongze Xia, Yu Feng, Neeti Gupta, Suntrana Smyth, Yuanxun Liao, Martin A. Green

*Corresponding author for this work

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

8 Citations (Scopus)


The Hot Carrier solar cell is a Third Generation device that aims to tackle the carrier thermalisation loss after absorption of above band-gap photons. It is theoretically capable of efficiencies very close to the maximum thermodynamic limit. It relies on slowing the rate of carrier cooling in the absorber from ps to ns. This challenge can be addressed through nanostructures and modulation of phonon dispersions. The mechanisms of carrier cooling are discussed and methods to interrupt this process investigated to give a list of properties required of an absorber material. Quantum well or nano-well structures and large mass difference compounds with phonon band gaps are discussed in the context of enhancing phonon bottleneck and hence slowing carrier cooling. Materials for these structures are discussed and potential combined structures to maximize phonon bottleneck and slow carrier cooling are suggested.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2012 38th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference
Place of PublicationPiscataway, NJ
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
Number of pages4
ISBN (Electronic)9781467300667, 9781467300650
ISBN (Print)9781467300643
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes
Event38th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, PVSC 2012 - Austin, TX, United States
Duration: 3 Jun 20128 Jun 2012

Publication series

ISSN (Print)0160-8371


Conference38th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, PVSC 2012
CountryUnited States
CityAustin, TX

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