Advances in Semiconductor Nanostructures for Photonic Applications
In this paper we present the concept and demonstration of novel photovoltaic and electro-optic devices, and photoelectrochemical cells based on various semiconductor nanostructures, specifically compound semiconductor quantum wells and nanowires, and the use of plasmonic and related scattering effects from metal or dielectric nanoparticles to increase efficiency of optical absorption. Quantum-well solar cells were fabricated with scattering from metallic or dielectric nanostructures incorporated to direct incident photons into lateral, optically confined paths with high electromagnetic field intensity within relatively thin multiple-quantum-well regions to maximize quantum efficiency of photon absorption. The internal structure of quantum wells in quantum-well solar cells was also analyzed and characterized; the incorporation of a suitable potential step within each quantum well was explored for improvement in power conversion efficiency. Vertical nanowire arrays were engineered to optimize optical confinement within the nanowires, and core-shell heterostructures were employed to achieve broad-spectrum absorption while maintaining high open-circuit voltages. Large linear electro-optic effect is observed in the nanowire arrays. Branched nanowire photoelectrochemical cells were also made and characterized for their spectral incident photon-to-current conversion efficiency. These works have been sponsored by U.S. Department of Energy and National Science Foundation.
Prof. Alan Kin Tak Lau, Prof. Tirumalai S. Srivatsan, Debes Bhattacharyya, Ming Qiu Zhang and Mabel M.P. Ho
P. K.L. Yu et al., "Advances in Semiconductor Nanostructures for Photonic Applications", Advanced Materials Research, Vol. 410, pp. 36-36, 2012