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Extraordinary Sunlight Absorption and One Nanometer Thick Photovoltaics Using Two-Dimensional Monolayer Materials

Bernardi, Marco and Palummo, Maurizia and Grossman, Jeffrey C. (2013) Extraordinary Sunlight Absorption and One Nanometer Thick Photovoltaics Using Two-Dimensional Monolayer Materials. Nano Letters, 13 (8). pp. 3664-3670. ISSN 1530-6984. doi:10.1021/nl401544y.

[img] PDF (Methods: Details of the DFT, GW, and BSE calculations. Figure S1: Comparison of independent-particle and BSE absorption spectra of monolayer MoS_2. Figure S2: Absorption coefficient of bulk MoS_2) - Supplemental Material
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Graphene and monolayer transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs) are promising materials for next-generation ultrathin optoelectronic devices. Although visually transparent, graphene is an excellent sunlight absorber, achieving 2.3% visible light absorbance in just 3.3 Å thickness. TMD monolayers also hold potential as sunlight absorbers, and may enable ultrathin photovoltaic (PV) devices due to their semiconducting character. In this work, we show that the three TMD monolayers MoS_2, MoSe_2, and WS_2 can absorb up to 5–10% incident sunlight in a thickness of less than 1 nm, thus achieving 1 order of magnitude higher sunlight absorption than GaAs and Si. We further study PV devices based on just two stacked monolayers: (1) a Schottky barrier solar cell between MoS_2 and graphene and (2) an excitonic solar cell based on a MoS_2/WS_2 bilayer. We demonstrate that such 1 nm thick active layers can attain power conversion efficiencies of up to ∼1%, corresponding to approximately 1–3 orders of magnitude higher power densities than the best existing ultrathin solar cells. Our work shows that two-dimensional monolayer materials hold yet untapped potential for solar energy absorption and conversion at the nanoscale.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Information
Bernardi, Marco0000-0001-7289-9666
Palummo, Maurizia0000-0002-3097-8523
Grossman, Jeffrey C.0000-0003-1281-2359
Additional Information:© 2013 American Chemical Society. Received: April 27, 2013; Revised: June 5, 2013; Published: June 10, 2013. M.B. acknowledges fruitful discussions with Dr. David Strubbe and Dr. Can Ataca. M.P. thanks Dr. Ludger Wirtz for sharing his insight on the role of semicore electrons in GW calculations of TMD monolayers. The authors thank NERSC and XSEDE for providing computational resources. M.P. thanks CINECA for providing computational resources through the ISCRA-C project no. HP10CMAA6K. M.P. acknowledges financial support from FP7 ITN “Clermont4” (235114). The authors acknowledge financial support from a MITEI Seed Fund and the MISTI program. The authors declare no competing financial interest.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Italian SuperComputing Resource Allocation (ISCRA)HP10CMAA6K
European Community Seventh Framework Programme (FP7)235114
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)UNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:Monolayer materials; graphene; transition metal dichalcogenides; solar energy; sunlight absorption; photovoltaics
Issue or Number:8
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20150923-144601321
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Official Citation:Extraordinary Sunlight Absorption and One Nanometer Thick Photovoltaics Using Two-Dimensional Monolayer Materials Marco Bernardi, Maurizia Palummo, and Jeffrey C. Grossman Nano Letters 2013 13 (8), 3664-3670 DOI: 10.1021/nl401544y
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:60451
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:23 Sep 2015 22:51
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 22:34

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