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Connecting Theory and Practice in Optoelectronics
In the last two decades, there has been an increasing interest in multiscale modeling applied to electronic devices. Several factors are driving this trend. On the one hand, device dimensions of “classical” devices like MOSFETs have continuously been scaled down in order to increase device performance. On the other hand, specific properties of quantum structures are systematically utilized in modern devices. The embedding of the active device region in its environment including access regions and contacts, and the mutual interaction between different aspects like optics, thermal heating, strain and carrier transport requires an involved multiscale/multiphysics simulation approach which can handle different physical models and different length or time scales.
Multiscale approaches are particularly interesting for the study of solar cells. Practically all next generation photovoltaic technologies could benefit from such modeling: Si cells with amorphous/crystalline interfaces, quantum dot and quantum well based devices, devices with tunnel junctions, organic bulk heterojunction devices to name a few. Moreover, the technologically relevant scale is the solar panel, which is definitely some length scales above the nanometer to micrometer scale of the absorbing layers. And solar cells are inherently multiphysics objects, involving optical, thermal and electronic processes.
In order to foster progress in multiscale modeling and characterization of next generation solar cell technology, the COST Action “MultiscaleSolar” has been launched in 2015. MultiscaleSolar creates a network of experts defragmenting knowledge by combining existing research activities to address key issues in next generation photovoltaics.
In the frame of MultiscaleSolar, we plan a Special Issue in the International Journal of Photoenergy on Multiscale Modeling of Photovoltaic Devices. We invite contributions addressing all aspects of multiscale modelling, with special attention to applications in photovoltaics. The guest editors of this special issue are Christin David (Technical University of Denmark), Urs Aeberhard (Forschungszentrum Jülich), Alessio Gagliardi (Technical University of Munich) and Matthias Auf der Maur (University of Rome Tor Vergata).