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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: C. Martijn de Sterke
  • Vol. 18, Iss. 2 — Jan. 18, 2010
  • pp: 1618–1629

Multiple-junction quantum cascade photodetectors for thermophotovoltaic energy conversion

Jian Yin and Roberto Paiella  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 18, Issue 2, pp. 1618-1629 (2010)

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The use of intersubband transitions in quantum cascade structures for thermophotovoltaic energy conversion is investigated numerically. The intrinsic cascading scheme, spectral agility, and design flexibility of these structures make them ideally suited to the development of high efficiency multiple-junction thermophotovoltaic detectors. A specific implementation of this device concept is designed, based on bound-to-continuum intersubband transitions in large-conduction-band-offset In0.7Ga0.3As/AlAs0.8Sb0.2 quantum wells. The device electrical characteristics in the presence of thermal radiation from a blackbody source at 1300 K are calculated, from which a maximum extracted power density of 1.4 W/cm2 is determined. This value compares favorably with the present state-of-the-art in interband thermophotovoltaic energy conversion, indicating that quantum cascade photodetectors may provide a promising approach to improve energy extraction from thermal sources.

© 2010 OSA

OCIS Codes
(040.5350) Detectors : Photovoltaic
(250.5590) Optoelectronics : Quantum-well, -wire and -dot devices

ToC Category:

Original Manuscript: December 11, 2009
Revised Manuscript: January 8, 2010
Manuscript Accepted: January 9, 2010
Published: January 13, 2010

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Focus Issue: Solar Concentrators (2010) Optics Express

Jian Yin and Roberto Paiella, "Multiple-junction quantum cascade photodetectors for thermophotovoltaic energy conversion," Opt. Express 18, 1618-1629 (2010)

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