"First-principles modeling of space radiation effects in solar cells"

Who: Natalia Koval, Theory Group

Place: nanoGUNE seminar room, Tolosa Hiribidea 76, Donostia - San Sebastian

Date: Monday, 27 April 2020, 11:00

In an effort to limit the current spread of COVID-19, all seminars are canceled beginning Thursday March 12th until further notice


First-principles modeling of space radiation effects in solar cells


Natalia Koval, Theory Group, CIC nanoGUNE



With the new advances in solar cell technology and the rapid expansion of space missions, understanding the key aspects which link the macroscopic response of solar cells of current and future spacecrafts to the fundamental processes of particle stopping at the nanoscale inside the target has acquired new relevance. The response of matter to irradiation is a multi-scale process that includes the excitation of the electronic subsystem of the target material as well as ionic displacements leading to the formation of defects. The latter, in turn, results in the creation of carrier traps that significantly alter the performance of solar cells. In this work, we first study the electronic excitations by the projectile, i.e., the electronic stopping power for protons moving through different layers of the multilayer GaInP/GaAs/Ge solar cell within Ehrenfest dynamics combined with time-dependent density functional theory (TDDFT). We then address the atomic displacements, namely, using ab initio molecular dynamics, we calculate the minimum energy required to form a stable defect inside the material. Finally, we combine both processes to gain insights into the influence of electronic excitations on the defect formation.

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