TPV Devices Heats AURAK Research
May 22, 2019,
The American University of Ras Al Khaimah (AURAK) School of Graduate Studies and Research featured the research of Dr. Majed Khodr, Associate Professor in Electrical, Electronics and Communications Engineering, entitled “An Innovative TPV Device Design Based on Narrow Gap IV-VI Semiconductor MQW Structures” in its Faculty Research Colloquium Public Lecture Series.
Dr. Khodr holds BS and MS degrees in Physics from Kuwait University and an MS and a Ph.D. in Electronics and Communications Engineering from the University of Oklahoma. He worked for Halliburton and Motorola before returning to the Middle East, where he has worked at several universities, establishing and developing higher education engineering departments, and co-hosting a weekly health TV program for ten years discussing innovations in medical and wellness technologies. As an affiliated professor with University of Oklahoma, he is collaborating on the development of thermophotvoltaic (TPV) devices and designing laser-based sensors for detecting cancer.
His presentation focused on how narrow bandgap semiconductors, such as IV-VI grown on silicon substrates, are desired for the photovoltaic conversion of mid-infrared thermal radiation to electrical power. Quantum confinement of electrons and holes in the  direction removes L-valley degeneracy for this materials system, and this effect can be utilized to reduce the densities of states at the bandgap. In this work, multiple quantum well (MQW) structures were modeled for TPV device performance. Calculations done on both MQW materials show a reduction in density of states, a reduction in intrinsic carrier densities, and an increase in open circuit voltages as compared to bulk materials with the same bandgap. This work offers a clear benefit for developing TPV devices that are capable of capturing a larger portion of the optical spectrum from a thermal radiator.
“One of the essential elements to successful research is academic collaboration,” remarked AURAK President, Professor Hassan Hamdan Al Alkim. “Initiatives such as these nourishes the environment needed to produce quality research, imperative for a solid academic foundation.”