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New semiconductors with strong optical response in the framework of a MIT "la Caixa" Foundation project

The first article of the joint project between ICMAB and MIT in the framework of the collaborative project MIT-SPAIN "la Caixa" Foundation SEED FUND is now published in Physical Review Materials. The project is focused on the investigation of new materials for photovoltaic applications. Ignasi Fina is the ICMAB researcher involved in the study. 

15 October 2020

In the article published in Physical Review Materials, a new family of highly polarizable chalcogenide semiconductors is reported, which also have strong optical response in the visible range. They could be used in optoelectronics and photovoltaics applications. The article was chosen as one of the featured in the "Editor's Suggestion" of its issue.

Both experimental work, by growing single crystal samples of the semiconductors and characterizing them using different tools, and theoretical DFT-based approach calculations were carried out. The studied system has a potential for applications in the semiconductor industry, as well as offer a platform to investigate in detail the interactions of electrons and atoms in optoelectronics. This family of complex chalcogenide semiconductors combines strong optical absorption, excellent environmental stability, and strong dielectric response, and consists of abundant and nontoxic elements.

Collaboration between ICMAB and MIT researchers

The MIT-SPAIN "la Caixa" Foundation SEED FUND project was awarded in January 2018, although the awards ceremony took place some months after, in April 2018.  Since then, Ignasi Fina, ICMAB researcher at the MULFOX group and recipient of the grant, has had the opportunity to visit the MIT and give some Invited Talks (November 2019), and Stepehn Filippone, a MIT researcher and first author of the paper, could come to the ICMAB to study the photovoltaic response of these chalcogenide materials, during May and June 2019.

The ”la Caixa” and MIT grants aim to support research projects carried out jointly between Spanish universities and MIT research groups, boosting cooperation between faculty, researchers and students. The inititative is part of the MISTI Global Seed Funds programme, which promotes collaborations between MIT faculty and researchers and their counterparts abroad. 

mit spain photovoltaics

Figure: Recipients of the MIT-Spain "la Caixa" Foundation SEED FUND projects. April 2018.

Reference Article:

Discovery of highly polarizable semiconductors BaZrS3 and Ba3Zr2S7
Stephen Filippone, Boyang Zhao, Shanyuan Niu, Nathan Z. Koocher, Daniel Silevitch, Ignasi Fina, James M. Rondinelli, Jayakanth Ravichandran, and R. Jaramillo
Phys. Rev. Materials 4, 091601 (R), 2020
DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevMaterials.4.091601

lacaixa mit


Cover Figure: MIT building, photo from Ignasi Fina, during his visit at MIT in November 2019. 

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