.: Prof. Giovanni Fanchini
P&A Rm 229
(519) 661-2111 x86238

Course summary

Objective of this course is to provide Graduate Students with a background in the optical and excitation properties of condensed matter in the solid state. Special emphasis is placed on photovoltaic materials, able to generate an electrical current from absorbed light. The course is divided in two parts.

The first part of the course discusses the optical properties of materials having different electronic structures and degrees of order (crystalline, micro/nanocrystalline and amorphous). Optical transitions and excitation properties in solids are introduced from quantum-mechanical arguments.

The second part of the course focuses on photoactive and photovoltaic materials. A number of such materials (including: silicon and germanium, gallium arsenide and III-V materials, cadmium telluride and other II-VI materials, organic materials, etc.) are introduced and classified from their valence electronic structure. Different types of architectures for photovoltaic devices (including planar solar cells, thin-film solar cells and bulk hetherojunctions) are discussed in light of the specific optical properties of these materials. A number of other photoactive devices (including light-emitting diodes and solid state lasers) will also be introduced.

Textbook: R.H. Bube, Photovoltaic Materials, Imperial College Press, 1998 (NEW EDITION AVAILABLE SOON!)