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Portrait of Heiner Linke; Photo: Kennet Ruona

Heiner Linke

Professor, Deputy dean (prorektor) at Faculty of Engineering, LTH

Portrait of Heiner Linke; Photo: Kennet Ruona

Hot-carrier optoelectronic devices based on semiconductor nanowires


  • Jonatan Fast
  • Urs Aeberhard
  • Stephen P. Bremner
  • Heiner Linke

Summary, in English

In optoelectronic devices such as solar cells and photodetectors, a portion of electron-hole pairs is generated as so-called hot carriers with an
excess kinetic energy that is typically lost as heat. The long-standing aim to harvest this excess energy to enhance device performance has
proven to be very challenging, largely due to the extremely short-lived nature of hot carriers. Efforts thus focus on increasing the hot carrier
relaxation time and on tailoring heterostructures that allow for hot-carrier extraction on short time and length scales. Recently, semiconductor
nanowires have emerged as a promising system to achieve these aims, because they offer unique opportunities for heterostructure engineering
as well as for potentially modified phononic properties that can lead to increased relaxation times. In this review we assess the
current state of theory and experiments relating to hot-carrier dynamics in nanowires, with a focus on hot-carrier photovoltaics. To provide
a foundation, we begin with a brief overview of the fundamental processes involved in hot-carrier relaxation and how these can be tailored
and characterized in nanowires. We then analyze the advantages offered by nanowires as a system for hot-carrier devices and review the status
of proof-of-principle experiments related to hot-carrier photovoltaics. To help interpret existing experiments on photocurrent extraction
in nanowires we provide modeling based on non-equilibrium Green’s functions. Finally, we identify open research questions that need to be
answered in order to fully evaluate the potential nanowires offer toward achieving more efficient, hot-carrier based, optoelectronic devices.


  • Solid State Physics
  • NanoLund: Center for Nanoscience

Publishing year





Applied Physics Reviews





Document type

Journal article


American Institute of Physics (AIP)


  • Condensed Matter Physics




  • ISSN: 1931-9401