MSE 589 Solid State Solar and Thermal Energy Harvesting Section: 601
This course studies the fundamental and recent advances of energy harvesting from two of the most abundant sources, namely solar and thermal energies. The first part of the course focuses on photovoltaic science and technology. The characteristics and design of common types of solar cells is discussed, and the known approaches to increasing solar cell efficiency will be introduced. After the review of the physics of solar cells, we will discuss advanced topics and recent progresses in solar cell technology. The second part of the course is focused on thermoelectric effect. The basic physical properties, Seebeck coefficient, electrical and thermal conductivities, are discussed and analyzed through the Boltzmann transport formalism. Advanced subject such as carrier scattering time approximations in relation to dimensionality and the density of states are studied. Different approaches for further increasing efficiencies are discussed including energy filtering, quantum confinement, size effects, band structure engineering, and phonon confinement.
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