Light-to-energy transfer in new solar cell materials


Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Ames Laboratory are now able to capture the moment less than one trillionth of a second. A particle of light hits a solar cell material and becomes energy. Describe the physics of the charge carrier and atom movement for the first time.

Photovoltaic technology

The generation and dissociation of bound electron and hole pairs, namely excitons, are key processes in solar cell and photovoltaic technologies. yet it is challenging to follow their initial dynamics and electronic coherence.

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Using time-resolved low frequency spectroscopy in the terahertz spectral region. Furthermore, researchers explored the photo-excitations of a new class of photovoltaic materials known as organometal halide perovskites. Organometallics are wonder materials for light-harvesting and electronic transport devices. And they combine best of both worlds the high energy conversion performance of traditional inorganic photovoltaic devices. With the economic material costs and fabrication methods of organic versions.

Whereas, ames Laboratory researchers wanted to know not only the generation and dissociation of bound electron and hole pairs. Namely excitons, happened in the material, they wanted to find out the quantum pathways and time interval of that event.

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Because conventional multimeters for measuring electrical states in materials do not work for measuring excitons. Which are electrically neutral quasiparticles with no zero current. Ultrafast terahertz spectroscopy techniques provided a contactless probe that was able to follow their internal structures. However,quantify the photon-to-exciton event with time resolution better than one trillionth of a second.

Moreover, the contributions of researchers from multiple areas of expertise across the Ames Laboratory with the significance of the discovery.