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Plasmonic Photovoltalics

Plasmonic Photovoltalics

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Published by Jason Warden
A surface plasmon polarition photovoltaic absorber. A plasmonic photovoltaic device is provided that has a periodic sub-wavelength aperture array, for example, a thin metal film coated with an array of semiconductor quantum dots. The plasmonic photovoltaic device generates an electrical potential when illuminated by electromagnetic radiation. In some embodiments, the absorber can contain both quantum dots of semiconductors and metal nano-particles.

To date, little systematic, comprehensive thought has been given to the question of how plasmon excitation and light localization might be exploited to advantage in photovoltaics . Conventionally, photovoltaic absorbers must be optically 'thick' to enable nearly complete light absorption and photo-carrier current collection. They are usually semiconductors whose thickness is typically several times the optical absorption length.

This device takes advantage of guided wave propagation and imaging at the subwavelength scale, nonlinear spectroscopy and "negative index" metamaterials. The unusual dispersion properties of metals enable excitation of propagating surface plasmon modes away from the plasmon resonance and near the plasmon resonance enables excitation of localized resonant modes in nanostructures that access a very large range of wavevectors over the visible and near infared frequency range. Both resonant and non resonant plasmon excitation allows for light localization in ultrasmall volumes in metallodielectric structures.

Taking advantage of the electromagnetic frequencies in the UV to IR wavelengths give the ability to utilize an even wider range of frequencies to generate useable electricity from cheap, abundant materials.
A surface plasmon polarition photovoltaic absorber. A plasmonic photovoltaic device is provided that has a periodic sub-wavelength aperture array, for example, a thin metal film coated with an array of semiconductor quantum dots. The plasmonic photovoltaic device generates an electrical potential when illuminated by electromagnetic radiation. In some embodiments, the absorber can contain both quantum dots of semiconductors and metal nano-particles.

To date, little systematic, comprehensive thought has been given to the question of how plasmon excitation and light localization might be exploited to advantage in photovoltaics . Conventionally, photovoltaic absorbers must be optically 'thick' to enable nearly complete light absorption and photo-carrier current collection. They are usually semiconductors whose thickness is typically several times the optical absorption length.

This device takes advantage of guided wave propagation and imaging at the subwavelength scale, nonlinear spectroscopy and "negative index" metamaterials. The unusual dispersion properties of metals enable excitation of propagating surface plasmon modes away from the plasmon resonance and near the plasmon resonance enables excitation of localized resonant modes in nanostructures that access a very large range of wavevectors over the visible and near infared frequency range. Both resonant and non resonant plasmon excitation allows for light localization in ultrasmall volumes in metallodielectric structures.

Taking advantage of the electromagnetic frequencies in the UV to IR wavelengths give the ability to utilize an even wider range of frequencies to generate useable electricity from cheap, abundant materials.

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Categories:Types, Research, Science
Published by: Jason Warden on Nov 17, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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12/25/2012

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us
20070289623Al
(19)
UnitedStates
(12)
PatentApplicationPublication
Atwater
(10)
Pub.No.:
US2007/0289623At
(43)
Pub.Date:
Dec.20,2007
(54)
PLASMONICPHOTOVOLTAICSRelatedU.S.ApplicationData
(75)
Inventor:HarryA.Atwater,SouthPasadena,CA(US)(60)ProvisionalapplicationNo.
60/811,668,
filedonJun.7,2006.PublicationClassificationCorrespondenceAddress:HISCOCK
&
BARCLAY,LLP
2000
HSBCPLAZA
100
ChestnutStreetROCHESTER,NY
14604-2404
(US)(51)Int.Cl.
HOlL31100(2006.01)
(52)
U.S.Cl.
136/252
(57)
ABSTRACT(21)Appl.No.:(22)Filed:
111759,752
Asurfaceplasmonpolaritonphotovoltaicabsorber.Aplas-monicphotovoltaicdeviceisprovidedthathasaperiodicsubwavelengthaperturearray,forexampleathinmetalfilmcoatedwithanarrayofsemiconductorquantumdots.Theplasmonicphotovoltaicdevicegeneratesanelectricalpoten-tialwhenilluminatedbyelectromagneticradiation.Insomeembodiments,theabsorbercancontainbothquantumdotsofsemiconductorsandmetalnanoparticles.(73)Assignee:CaliforniaInstituteofTechnology,Pasadena,CA
Jun.
7,2007
INCIDENTSOLARIRRADIATIONp-TYPESEMICNDUCTORABSORBER
p+
CONTACT
 
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