Space-separated quantum cutting with silicon nanocrystals for photovoltaic applications

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Journal Article
Nature Photonics, 2008, 2 (2), pp. 105 - 109
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For optimal energy conversion in photovoltaic devices (electricity to and from light) one important requirement is that the full energy of the photons is used. However, in solar cells, a single electron-hole pair of specific energy is generated when the incoming photon energy is above a certain threshold, with the excess energy being lost to heat. In the so-called quantum-cutting process, a high-energy photon can be divided into two, or more, photons of lower energy. Such manipulation of photon quantum size can then very effectively increase the overall efficiency of a device. In the current work, we demonstrate (space-separated) photon cutting by silicon nanocrystals, in which nearby Er3 ions and neighbouring nanocrystals are used to detect this effect. © 2008 Nature Publishing Group.
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