The maximum efficiency of silicon photovoltaic cell is not 31% but 74%. Collecting hot carriers before they thermalize is a means to achieve this. In this regard, amorphous semiconductors are potentially useful materials. Nanocrystalline silicon (nc-Si:H) is unique in that carriers of wide energy distribution generated in amorphous regions may be in range of crystalline regions. These carriers can benefit from higher mobility and a lesser probability of thermalization. The motivation behind this project is to determine whether hot-carrier transfer occurs in thin-film nc-Si:H, and thus provide a potential material for hot carrier collection.
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