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Sunday, June 10, 2018

#388 Solar cells and LEDs, cont

 While both devices are "playing" with light, LEDs and solar cells feature very different needs regarding semicondsuctor materials used to manufacture them as well as different device configurations, or in other words different designs.


As far as materials are concnerned, the former require direct-bandgap semiconductors so that energy released as a result of the electron-hole recombination is released in the form of light (photon) as opposed to the "packet" of the energy of the lattice vibrational wave call phonon (well, to keep it simple call it heat).  In the case of the latter the main concnern regarding material selection is a trade-off between cost and efficiency of the cell.


Regarding designs, in the case of the LED the goal is to let generated light out of the device in an as unobstructed fashion as possible. In the case of the solar cells the focus is on letting as much of thesunlight into the device as possible.  On the surface it may look like not much of the difference - light out vs. light in - but in reality differences between device configurations of LEDs and solar cells are rather serious (may be more on this one later).



Posted by Jerzy Ruzyllo at 01:46 PM | Semiconductors | Link is the personal blog of Jerzy Ruzyllo. With over 35 years of experience in academic research and teaching in the area of semiconductor engineering (currently holding position of a Distinguished Professor of Electrical Engineering and Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at Penn State University), he has a unique perspective on the developments in this progress driving technical domain and enjoys blogging about it.

With over 2000 terms defined and explained, Semiconductor Glossary is the most complete reference in the field of semiconductors on the market today.

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