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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2014, Article ID 972597, 8 pages
Research Article

Theoretical Study of the Effects of Carrier Transport, Capture, and Escape Processes on Solar Cells with Embedded Nanostructures

Department of Applied Physics, National University of Kaohsiung, Kaohsiung 811, Taiwan

Received 12 January 2014; Accepted 18 January 2014; Published 24 February 2014

Academic Editor: Chien-Jung Huang

Copyright © 2014 Chin-Yi Tsai. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


A theoretical model is proposed to study the effects of carrier transport, escape, and capture processes on solar cells with embedded nanostructures. The theoretical results clearly indicate that the carrier transport, escape, and capture times are important physical quantities affecting the performance of solar cells with embedded nanostructures and they should be fully considered in device design, such as the selection of the optimal band-gap energy of the nanostructures. The beneficial results from the embedded nanostructures cannot be warranted. Slow escape processes and long transport time will make the nanostructures act as gigantic recombination sites and cause a detrimental effect on the bulk solar cell. The results show that solar cells embedded with nanostructures of very small band-gap energy materials will suffer from extremely slow escape processes due to a very large potential difference between the nanostructures and the bulk host material; therefore, their output photocurrent could be inferior to their bulk counterparts without the nanostructures. The beneficial results from the embedded nanostructures to the solar cells can only be realized by their long carrier lifetime and fast escape time.