Skip to Main Content
The Hot Carrier solar cell is a Third Generation device that aims to tackle the carrier thermalisation loss after absorption of above band-gap photons. It is theoretically capable of efficiencies very close to the maximum thermodynamic limit. It relies on slowing the rate of carrier cooling in the absorber from ps to ns. This challenge can be addressed through nanostructures and modulation of phonon dispersions. The mechanisms of carrier cooling are discussed and methods to interrupt this process investigated to give a list of properties required of an absorber material. Quantum well or nano-well structures and large mass difference compounds with phonon band gaps are discussed in the context of enhancing phonon bottleneck and hence slowing carrier cooling. Materials for these structures are discussed and potential combined structures to maximize phonon bottleneck and slow carrier cooling are suggested.