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Solar & Alternative Energy

Gavin Conibeer plenary: Hot Carrier Solar Cell Absorbers: Materials, Mechanisms and Nanostructures

A plenary talk from SPIE Optics + Photonics 2014.

10 October 2014, SPIE Newsroom. DOI: 10.1117/2.3201410.15

Gavin Conibeer, Australian Ctr. for Advanced Photovoltaics, Univ. of New South Wales 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.

In this plenary session, Gavin Conibeer of the Australian Center for Advanced Photovoltaics, University of New South Wales (Australia) discusses quantum well or nano-well structures and large mass difference compounds with phonon band gaps 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.

Gavin Conibeer leads the Third Generation Photovoltaics research group at the University of New South Wales. He received his BSc degree from London University and PhD from Southampton University, UK, in III-V semiconductors for tandem PV cells. He has worked on a wide range of materials and nanostructures for photovoltaics at Monash, Southampton, Cranfield, and Oxford Universities. He is currently an Australian Research Council Future Fellow at UNSW.