The aim of my PhD is to on a fundamental level investigate how nanoscale effects in nanowires such as quantum phenomena can be employed to improve the conversion efficiency of heat into electricity. The main principle is to use photo-thermoelectric energy conversion, where light is used to create non-equilibrium, so called “hot” electrons, whose energy then can be harvested by using energy filtering based on heterostructures in nanowires. The ultimate goal is to determine whether or not it would be practically feasible to implement this technique in future solar cells, an approach that in theory could reach energy conversion efficiencies above the Shockley-Queisser limit.
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