Production of photocurrent due to intermediate-to-conduction-band transitions: a demonstration of a key operating principle of the intermediate-band solar cell

Phys Rev Lett. 2006 Dec 15;97(24):247701. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.97.247701. Epub 2006 Dec 13.


We present intermediate-band solar cells manufactured using quantum dot technology that show for the first time the production of photocurrent when two sub-band-gap energy photons are absorbed simultaneously. One photon produces an optical transition from the intermediate-band to the conduction band while the second pumps an electron from the valence band to the intermediate-band. The detection of this two-photon absorption process is essential to verify the principles of operation of the intermediate-band solar cell. The phenomenon is the cornerstone physical principle that ultimately allows the production of photocurrent in a solar cell by below band gap photon absorption, without degradation of its output voltage.