Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Ben-Gurion University of the Negev develops thin films showing promise for solar applications

Researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev have developed thin films that exhibit carrier multiplication (CM). This development is of great interest for future solar cells.

The films were synthesized at BGU by Prof. Yuval Golan and PhD student Anna Osherov of the Department of Materials Engineering and the Ilse Katz Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology. The letter was published this week in Nature Physics.

One of the important factors limiting solar-cell efficiency is that incident photons generate only one electron–hole pair, irrespective of the photon energy. Any excess photon energy is lost as heat.

Carrier Multiplication (CM) has been thought to be enhanced significantly in nanocrystalline materials such as quantum dots, owing to their discrete energy levels and enhanced Coulomb interactions.

The BGU team demonstrated that contrary to this expectation, for a given photon energy, carrier multiplication occurs more efficiently in bulk PbS and PbSe films than in nanocrystalline films of the same materials.

"Films developed at BGU show CM, in which each incoming photon (tiny quantity of sunlight) creates more than one electron-hole pair," Golan explains. "This can potentially be used for making more efficient solar cells. The new physics behind this work are that while CM has been mostly demonstrated in nanocrystalline materials ("quantum dots"), we now show that CM can be obtained also in single crystal ('bulk') films of lead sulfide and lead selenide."

Notably, the films were prepared using chemical solution deposition, an attractive, inexpensive deposition technique for which the Golan group at BGU has received considerable recognition. The research was carried out as part of an international collaboration with counterparts in France and the Netherlands.

J.J.H. Pijpers, R. Ulbricht, K.J. Tielrooij, A. Osherov, Y. Golan, C. Delerue, G. Allan and M. Bonn, "Assessment of Carrier Multiplication efficiency in bulk PbSe and PbS", Nature Physics (2009) in press.

About Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and American Associates

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev is a world-renowned institute of research and higher learning with some 19,000 students on campuses in Beer-Sheva, Sede Boqer and Eilat in Israel's southern desert. It is a university with a conscience, where the highest academic standards are integrated with community involvement, committed to sustainable development of the Negev. Founded in 1972, American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev plays a vital role in helping the University fulfill its unique responsibility to develop the Negev, reach out to its local community and its Arab neighbors, and share its expertise with the world.

Andrew Lavin | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Move over, lasers: Scientists can now create holograms from neutrons, too
21.10.2016 | National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

nachricht Finding the lightest superdeformed triaxial atomic nucleus
20.10.2016 | The Henryk Niewodniczanski Institute of Nuclear Physics Polish Academy of Sciences

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>