Semiconductor Materials and Physics, Semiconductors for Solar Energy Conversion

Jianwu Sun holds a permanent position as Universitetslektor at IFM, Linköping University. He received his Docent (Associate Professor) title in 2016. Prior to this, he worked as Senior Researcher in the world-leading industrial research center, IMEC, Belgium. He has more than ten-year academic and industrial research experience on semiconductor materials.

Now, his research group mainly focuses on exploring the semiconductor materials such as cubic silicon carbide (3C-SiC) for solar-driven energy conversion, in particular, photocatalytic and photoelectrochemical (PEC) water splitting and reduction of CO2.

The solar-driven water splitting provides a promising way to produce hydrogen, which is regarded as a clean and renewable energy source. Moreover, the solar-driven conversion of CO2 and water into chemical fuels is also a very attractive approach to explore renewable energy by consuming and recycling the greenhouse gas CO2.

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Semiconductors Materials, Physics and Devices, Semiconductors for Solar Energy Conversions

Photoelectrochemical water splitting and CO2 conversion based on 3C-SiC materials; Ga2O3 solar-blind Photodetectors and Transistors.

  • Photoelectrochemical Water Splitting and CO2 conversionScehamtic image of the research conducted in Jianwu Sun's research group

Photoelectrochemical (PEC) water-splitting offers a promising method to convert the intermittent solar energy into renewable and storable chemical energy. We focus on the development of cubic silicon carbide (3C-SiC) semiconductor as the photoelectrode for the solar-to-fuel conversion. 3C-SiC is a promising semiconductor for PEC water splitting due to its relatively small bandgap of 2.36 eV, which is close to the hypothetical ideal bandgap of 2.03 eV for the theoretical maximum of the solar water splitting efficiency. Most importantly, the conduction and valence band positions of 3C-SiC ideally straddle the water redox potentials.We also aim to tailor the properties of 3C-SiC by combination with other catalytic materials for improving the PEC conversion efficiency.

  • Ga2O3 Solar-blind Photodetectors and transistors

Ultraviolet (UV) photodetectors, in particular solar-blind photodetectors, have attract much attention because of its wide civil and military applications such as in non-line-of-sight optical communication, fire detection, chemical/biological analysis, and UV astronomy, etc. Gallium oxide, as a wide bandgap semiconductor material, has recently attracted much research interest because of its excellent physical properties such as the wide bandgap of ~4.9 eV and the extremely large breakdown electric field of 8 MV/cm. These promising material properties enable a wide device application prospect in transistor, solar-blind photodetector. Monoclinic phase gallium oxide (β-Ga2O3) is the most chemically and thermally stable material at room temperature among its five existing crystalline structures (α, β, γ, δ, and ε). Recently, it has been demonstrated that high quality 2 inch of gallium oxide single crystal can be grown. And it triggers a hot research field of solar-blind photodetectors and transistors based on gallium oxide.


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Semiconductor for Solar Energy Conversion

The course is given to doctorate students or equivalents every fall.

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