5 May 2010 Combining dissimilar materials at nanometer scale for energy harvesting
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Abstract
The development of next-generation energy resources that are reliable and economically/environmentally acceptable is a key to harnessing and providing the resources essential for the life of mankind. Our research focuses on the development of novel semiconductor platforms that would significantly benefit energy harvesting, in particular, from light and heat. In these critical applications, traditional semiconductor solid-state devices, such as photovoltaic (PV) and thermoelectric (TE) devices based on a stack of single-crystal semiconductor thin films or single-crystal bulk semiconductor have several drawbacks, for instance; scalability-limits arise when ultra-large-scale implementation is envisioned for PV devices and performance-limits arise for TE devices in which the interplay of both electronic and phonon systems is important. In our research, various types of nanometer-scale semiconductor structures (e.g., nanowires and nanoparticles) coupled to or embedded within a micrometer-scale semiconductor structure (i.e., semiconductor nanomicrometer hybrid platforms) are explored to build a variety of non-conventional PV and TE devices. Two core projects are to develop semiconductor nano-micrometer hybrid platforms based on (1) an ensemble of single-crystal semiconductor nanowires connected to non-single-crystal semiconductor surfaces and (2) semimetallic nanoparticles embedded within a single-crystal semiconductor. The semiconductor nano-micrometer hybrid platforms are studied within the context of their basic electronic, optical, and thermal properties, which will be further assessed and validated by comparison with theoretical approaches to draw comprehensive pictures of physicochemical properties of these semiconductor platforms.
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Nobuhiko P. Kobayashi, "Combining dissimilar materials at nanometer scale for energy harvesting", Proc. SPIE 7679, Micro- and Nanotechnology Sensors, Systems, and Applications II, 76791H (5 May 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.851193; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.851193
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