Above-bandgap voltages from ferroelectric photovoltaic devices

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In conventional solid-state photovoltaics, electron-hole pairs are created by light absorption in a semiconductor and separated by the electric field spaning a micrometre-thick depletion region. The maximum voltage these devices can produce is equal to the semiconductor electronic bandgap. Here, we report the discovery of a fundamentally different mechanism for photovoltaic charge separation, which operates over a distance of 1-2 nm and produces voltages that are significantly higher than the bandgap. The separation happens at previously unobserved nanoscale steps of the electrostatic potential that naturally occur at ferroelectric domain walls in the complex oxide BiFeO(3). Electric-field control over domain structure allows the photovoltaic effect to be reversed in polarity or turned off. This new degree of control, and the high voltages produced, may find application in optoelectronic devices.
Publisher
NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP
Issue Date
2010-02
Language
English
Article Type
Article
Keywords

LITHIUM-NIOBATE CRYSTALS; SOLAR-CELLS; FILMS; BIFEO3; EFFICIENCY; DAMAGE

Citation

NATURE NANOTECHNOLOGY, v.5, no.2, pp.143 - 147

ISSN
1748-3387
DOI
10.1038/NNANO.2009.451
URI
http://hdl.handle.net/10203/99050
Appears in Collection
PH-Journal Papers(저널논문)
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