Send to

Choose Destination
Nano Lett. 2013 Aug 14;13(8):3664-70. doi: 10.1021/nl401544y. Epub 2013 Jul 10.

Extraordinary sunlight absorption and one nanometer thick photovoltaics using two-dimensional monolayer materials.

Author information

Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139-4307, United States.


Graphene and monolayer transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs) are promising materials for next-generation ultrathin optoelectronic devices. Although visually transparent, graphene is an excellent sunlight absorber, achieving 2.3% visible light absorbance in just 3.3 Å thickness. TMD monolayers also hold potential as sunlight absorbers, and may enable ultrathin photovoltaic (PV) devices due to their semiconducting character. In this work, we show that the three TMD monolayers MoS2, MoSe2, and WS2 can absorb up to 5-10% incident sunlight in a thickness of less than 1 nm, thus achieving 1 order of magnitude higher sunlight absorption than GaAs and Si. We further study PV devices based on just two stacked monolayers: (1) a Schottky barrier solar cell between MoS2 and graphene and (2) an excitonic solar cell based on a MoS2/WS2 bilayer. We demonstrate that such 1 nm thick active layers can attain power conversion efficiencies of up to ~1%, corresponding to approximately 1-3 orders of magnitude higher power densities than the best existing ultrathin solar cells. Our work shows that two-dimensional monolayer materials hold yet untapped potential for solar energy absorption and conversion at the nanoscale.


Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for American Chemical Society
Loading ...
Support Center