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How Good Can 2D Excitonic Solar Cells Be?
preprintposted on 2023-02-14, 23:39 authored by Zekun Hu, Da Lin, Jason Lynch, Kevin Xu, Deep Jariwala
Excitonic semiconductors have been a subject of research for photovoltaic applications for many decades. Among them, the organic polymers and small molecules based solar cells have now exceeded 19% power conversion efficiency (PCE). While organic photovoltaics (OPVs) are approaching maturity, the advent of strongly excitonic inorganic semiconductors such as two-dimensional transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDCs) has renewed interest in excitonic solar cells due to their high-optical constants, stable inorganic structure and sub-nm film thicknesses. While several reports have been published on TMDC based PVs, achieving power conversion efficiencies higher than 6% under one-sun AM1.5G illumination has remained challenging. Here, we perform a full optical and electronic analysis of design, structure and performance of monolayer TMDC based, single-junction excitonic PVs. Our computational model with optimized properties predicts a PCE of 9.22% in a superlattice device structure. Our analysis suggests that, while the PCE for 2D excitonic solar cells may be limited to < 10%, a specific power > 100 W g-1 may be achieved with our proposed designs, making them attractive in aerospace, distributed remote sensing, and wearable electronics.