Diffusion-emission theory of photon enhanced thermionic emission solar energy harvesters

Aapo Varpula (Corresponding Author), Mika Prunnila

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    57 Citations (Scopus)


    Numerical and semi-analytical models are presented for photon-enhanced-thermionic-emission (PETE) devices. The models take diffusion of electrons, inhomogeneous photogeneration, and bulk and surface recombination into account. The efficiencies of PETE devices with silicon cathodes are calculated. Our model predicts significantly different electron affinity and temperature dependence for the device than the earlier model based on a rate-equation description of the cathode. We show that surface recombination can reduce the efficiency below 10% at the cathode temperature of 800?K and the concentration of 1000 suns, but operating the device at high injection levels can increase the efficiency to 15%.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number044506
    JournalJournal of Applied Physics
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2012
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • Electron affinity
    • element semiconductors
    • energy harvesting
    • numerical analysis
    • photons
    • silicon
    • solar energy conversion
    • surface recombination
    • thermionic emission


    Dive into the research topics of 'Diffusion-emission theory of photon enhanced thermionic emission solar energy harvesters'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this