Effective Conversion due to Nano-Engineered Photocarrier Kinetics in Quantum Dot Medium
Andrei Sergeyev Principal Investigator
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Research Objectives and Approaches<br/><br/>The objective of this research is to develop a scientific, engineering, and technological basis for high efficiency photovoltaic conversion in a single junction quantum dot solar cell with specifically designed quantum dot medium for effective harvesting and conversion of sub-bandgap photons. The proposed approach is based on nanoscale engineering of the photoelectron processes by manipulation of potential profiles produced by InAs quantum dots with built-in charge in modulation-doped GaAs photovoltaic structures. The research program is a collaborative effort of two research groups with complementary expertise from Universities at Buffalo and Albany (UB and UA); it includes design, fabrication, and systematic characterization of quantum dot solar cells. <br/><br/>Intellectual Merit<br/><br/>Nanoengineering of photocarrier kinetics via tailoring the specific nanoscale potential is a novel original approach in photovoltaic conversion. By providing the needed fundamental and technological basis, this program develops effective ways for increasing the conversion efficiency.<br/><br/>Broader Impacts<br/><br/>The methodology and principles developed during this research will be applicable to a number of photovoltaic devices with quantum dots and nanocrystals. The project will also have broader impact through its contributions to education: (i) 1-2 week student exchange between the two Universities; (ii) for K-1 students, continuing development of modern electronics and nanotechnology laboratories; (iii) incorporation of the information technologies via Java Applets for energy conversion; (iv) continuing participation in Robert McNair program for historically under-represented students; (v) promotion of nanotechnology via interactive exhibit at the Buffalo Science Museum and various presentations at UB and UA.