Hot-carrier optoelectronic devices based on semiconductor nanowires

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In optoelectronic devices such as solar cells and photodetectors, a portion of electron-hole pairs is generated as so-called hot carriers with an
excess kinetic energy that is typically lost as heat. The long-standing aim to harvest this excess energy to enhance device performance has
proven to be very challenging, largely due to the extremely short-lived nature of hot carriers. Efforts thus focus on increasing the hot carrier
relaxation time and on tailoring heterostructures that allow for hot-carrier extraction on short time and length scales. Recently, semiconductor
nanowires have emerged as a promising system to achieve these aims, because they offer unique opportunities for heterostructure engineering
as well as for potentially modified phononic properties that can lead to increased relaxation times. In this review we assess the
current state of theory and experiments relating to hot-carrier dynamics in nanowires, with a focus on hot-carrier photovoltaics. To provide
a foundation, we begin with a brief overview of the fundamental processes involved in hot-carrier relaxation and how these can be tailored
and characterized in nanowires. We then analyze the advantages offered by nanowires as a system for hot-carrier devices and review the status
of proof-of-principle experiments related to hot-carrier photovoltaics. To help interpret existing experiments on photocurrent extraction
in nanowires we provide modeling based on non-equilibrium Green’s functions. Finally, we identify open research questions that need to be
answered in order to fully evaluate the potential nanowires offer toward achieving more efficient, hot-carrier based, optoelectronic devices.


Enheter & grupper
Externa organisationer
  • ETH Zürich
  • University of New South Wales

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Den kondenserade materiens fysik
Antal sidor23
TidskriftApplied Physics Reviews
Utgåva nummer2
StatusPublished - 2021 apr 16
Peer review utfördJa