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First ab initio method for characterizing hot carriers
Date:7/17/2014

perturbation theories."

When the research team applied their method to study the relaxation time and mean free path of hot carriers in silicon, they found that thermalization under solar illumination is completed within 350 femtoseconds, and is dominated by phonon emission from hot carriers, a process that becomes progressively slower as the hot carriers lose energy and relax toward the band edges. This modeling result was in excellent agreement with the results of pump-probe experiments. While the model was only tested on silicon in this study, the researchers are confident it will be equally successful with other materials.

"We believe our approach is highly valuable to experimental groups studying hot carriers in the context of solar cells and other renewable energy technologies as it can be used to compute the lifetime and mean free path of hot carriers with specific energies, momenta, and crystallographic directions with unprecedented resolution," Bernardi says. "As we expand our study of hot carriers to a range of crystalline materials and nanostructures, we believe that our data will provide unique microscopic insight to guide new experiments on hot carriers in semiconductors."


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Contact: Lynn Yarris
lcyarris@lbl.gov
510-486-5375
DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert  

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