Open Access Nano Express

Theory and simulation of photogeneration and transport in Si-SiOx superlattice absorbers

Urs Aeberhard

Author Affiliations

IEK-5: Photovoltaik, Forschungszentrum Jülich, D-52425 Jülich, Germany

Nanoscale Research Letters 2011, 6:242  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-6-242

Published: 21 March 2011


Si-SiOx superlattices are among the candidates that have been proposed as high band gap absorber material in all-Si tandem solar cell devices. Owing to the large potential barriers for photoexited charge carriers, transport in these devices is restricted to quantum-confined superlattice states. As a consequence of the finite number of wells and large built-in fields, the electronic spectrum can deviate considerably from the minibands of a regular superlattice. In this article, a quantum-kinetic theory based on the non-equilibrium Green's function formalism for an effective mass Hamiltonian is used for investigating photogeneration and transport in such devices for arbitrary geometry and operating conditions. By including the coupling of electrons to both photons and phonons, the theory is able to provide a microscopic picture of indirect generation, carrier relaxation, and inter-well transport mechanisms beyond the ballistic regime.