Applied Physics

Researchers are working on the relatively new concept of intermediate band solar cells, which have efficiency limits that are 50% higher than for conventional solar cells. The solar cell physics group is involved in both theoretical studies of such cells and in fabrication of new materials for the realization of these devices.

Among the active research projects is work on InAs/GaAsSB and InAs/AlGaAsSB intermediate band solar cells, where quantum dots (QD) are grown by molecular beam epitaxy and samples are characterized using a host of methods, including atomic force microscopy (AFM) and Scanning Transmission electron microscopy (S(T)EM). The overall focus has been on optimizing the growth parameters to achieve as high QD density as possible.
Other important efforts centre around the pursuit of new materials for solar energy, and the optical response of nanostructured systems, including semiconducting nanowires, photonic crystals, and magnetic structures.

Fabrication, optical, electrical and magnetic characterization of materials having at least one nanometre scale dimension form the backbone of the group´s research.  Recent projects include the electrodeposition of heterojunction solar cells, magnetic logic circuits, plasmonic structures and the use of matrix-assisted laser ablation to deposit polymer films.

(Turid Worren Reenaas, Ursula Gibson)