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17 May 2011 Design and simulation of infrared energy harvesting devices
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Despite a recent focus in developing energy harvesting technologies from a variety of sources, no work has been done in capturing blackbody radiation from the surrounding environment. This work aims to extend semiconductor-based solar energy harvesting into the infrared (IR) range of the electromagnetic spectrum so as to take advantage of this blackbody radiation. We have investigated the use of mercury cadmium telluride (HgCdTe) p-n junction devices in order to achieve this goal. A device simulation tool, named MCT-SIM, was developed in order to obtain the photovoltaic characteristics of P+/N-/N+ structures exposed to blackbody radiation and an applied voltage bias. An IR energy harvesting system was developed and evaluated with the use of this tool. When this system is exposed to blackbody radiation at a temperature of 300 K, it generates a series-limited photocurrent of 28.115 mA/cm2; this value can be increased through further optimization. Subsequent analysis shows that performance limitations of this system are due to the presence of a large intrinsic carrier concentration and associated Auger effects within the absorbing layer of HgCdTe.
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Vijay Parameshwaran, Robert Olah, Achyut K. Dutta, and Nibir K. Dhar "Design and simulation of infrared energy harvesting devices", Proc. SPIE 8035, Energy Harvesting and Storage: Materials, Devices, and Applications II, 80350L (17 May 2011);

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