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Proceedings Paper

Microscopic theory and numerical simulation of quantum well solar cells
Author(s): Urs Aeberhard
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Paper Abstract

Quantum well solar cells have been introduced as high efficiency photovoltaic energy conversion devices nearly twenty years ago. Since then, their capability to outperform bulk devices under concentrated illumination was established and efficiencies close to the single gap Shockley-Queisser limit for the corresponding bulk materials were reached. In order to further increase the efficiency, the mechanisms behind the extraordinary performance need to be analyzed and understood. To this end, novel theoretical approaches to the simulation of quantum optoelectronic devices are required, since the device behavior depends on complex processes between localized and extended states, such as carrier capture and escape into and from quantum wells, which cannot be consistently described by the combination of macroscopic semiconductor transport equations with detailed balance rate models conventionally used in photovoltaics. This paper presents a suitable theoretical framework based on the nonequilibrium Green's function formalism that allows the unification of quantum optics and dissipative quantum transport on the quantum kinetic level and is thus able to provide insight into the microscopic mechanisms of quantum photovoltaic device operation.

Paper Details

Date Published: 15 February 2010
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 7597, Physics and Simulation of Optoelectronic Devices XVIII, 759702 (15 February 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.845478
Show Author Affiliations
Urs Aeberhard, Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH (Germany)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7597:
Physics and Simulation of Optoelectronic Devices XVIII
Bernd Witzigmann; Fritz Henneberger; Yasuhiko Arakawa; Marek Osinski, Editor(s)

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