Academic Year 2009-2010 Intern Project: Nathaniel Brunner-Taulbee

POWERING THE WORLD WITH NITRIDES: NITRIDE BASED SOLAR CELLS BY MBE


 

Nathaniel Brunner-Taulbee
Physics/Astronomy
UC Santa Barbara    

Mentor: Jordan Lang
Faculty Advisor: Jim Speck
Department: Materials

Solar cells are a good renewable energy source but the efficiency of current Silicon (Si) solar cells is lacking. The structure of the band gap in Si causes the device to be less efficient than other semiconducting materials. By using Gallium (Ga) and Indium (In) in conjunction with Nitrogen (N) we are able to not only create more efficient devices but also get more energy out of shorter wavelength photons. MBE, or Molecular Beam Epitaxy, gives us a controlled growth environment so that we may test the properties of the cells and characterize small differences.

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