Ing Ind - Inf (Mag.)(ord. 270) - BV (478) NUCLEAR ENGINEERING - INGEGNERIA NUCLEARE
091604 - NANOMATERIALS FOR ENERGY CONVERSION
Ing Ind - Inf (Mag.)(ord. 270) - MI (491) MATERIALS ENGINEERING AND NANOTECHNOLOGY - INGEGNERIA DEI MATERIALI E DELLE NANOTECNOLOGIE
091604 - NANOMATERIALS FOR ENERGY CONVERSION
The course aims at describing the physical principles of energy conversion processes, with particular focus on the photovoltaic and the thermoelectric energy conversion effects, and the properties of materials of interest for such applications, with particular attention to new nanostructured materials and systems. Specific lectures will be focused on the principles and nanomaterials-related aspects of other direct energy conversion technologies.
Risultati di apprendimento attesi
After attending the course and after the final examination, the student will:
- know the physical principles needed for a microscopic description of electrical and heat transport phenomena in materials, with particular focus on semiconductors in non-equilibrium conditions and under illumination, and the physical principles underlying the photovoltaic effect, the thermoelectric effects and other energy conversion effects/devices (e.g. photocatalysis, fuel cells);
- know the working principles, the materials-related aspects and the architecture of the most important classes of photovoltaic and thermoelectric devices, including those employing nanomaterials and nanostructures;
- know the current research trends in the application of nanotechnologies and nanomaterials for the development of novel energy conversion devices;
- be able to apply the above knowledge to a critical description and discussion of the devices and the related materials properties, limitations and developments, with a quantitative approach.
- Introduction to direct energy conversion technologies - Properties of solar radiation - Introduction to irreversible thermodynamics for the description of transport phenomena; kinetic coefficients and Onsager theorem - Review of semiconductor physics and properties - Microscopic description of charge and heat transport in solids: Boltzmann equation; derivation of electrical conductivity for metals and semiconductors - The photovoltaic effect; p-n junction under illumination, I-V characteristic of solar cells, definition of power conversion efficiency and quantum efficiency; limits for the efficiency (detailed balance limit, thermodynamic limit) - Crystalline Si solar cells (1st generation) - Thin film solar cells (2nd generation) - Excitonic solar cells: organic (bulk heterojunction) and hybrid solar cells, dye-sensitized and perovskite solar cells - New concepts for 3rd generation solar cells (tandem or multijunction cells, intermediate band cells, multiple exciton generation, hot carrier cells, up- and down-conversion, concentration) - Nanostructured materials for 3rd generation solar cells (e.g. QD-based solar cells) - Phenomenology of thermoelectric effects (Seebeck, Peltier, Thomson); - Irreversible thermodynamics description of thermoelectric effects: relationship between thermoelectric coefficients and kinetic coefficients - Efficiency and figure of merit of thermoelectric systems (refrigeration and power generation) - Boltzmann equation: derivation of thermal conductivity and thermoelectric coefficients for metals and semiconductors - Conventional and advanced thermoelectric materials; the phonon glass-electron crystal concept, the substructure approach; Bi2Te3 and related compounds, skutterudites, chlatrates, complex oxides - Nanostructured thermoelectric materials, examples (superlattices, nanowires, nanocrystalline or nanocomposite materials)
If possible, and if permitted by the schedule of lectures, at the end of the course specific lectures on other energy conversion technologies involving nanomaterials will be organized (e.g. fuel cells, solar water splitting, batteries).
See bibliography for suggested books (covering more than the programme of the course). Additional documents or lecture notes will be made available by the lecturer.
A background in quantum physics is required, and a background in solid state physics is preferable. Selected topics of semiconductor physics and transport phenomena in solid state materials reviewed or discussed during the course can be found in most solid state physics texts.
Modalità di valutazione
The examination is an oral discussion about course topics, chosen by the examiner (typically one topic related to photovoltaic physics, materials and devices, and one topic related to thermoelectricity and thermoelectric materials and devices).
The student must be able to clearly describe and critically discuss the topics, with the related hypotheses, the critical points, the physical meaning, the mathematical approach (complete derivations are not strictly required, but of course their knowledge may contribute to the final mark; however understanding the physics underlying the mathematical approach is considered the fundamental aspect), the materials properties, the device architecture and properties. The student should also know the value or order of magnitude of the main important quantities involved in the discussion, and may be asked to apply the theoretical knowledge to specific examples, with a quantitative approach.
J. Nelson, The Physics of Solar Cells, Editore: Imperial College Press, Anno edizione: 2003
H.J. Goldsmid, Introduction to Thermoelectricity, Editore: Springer, Anno edizione: 2009
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