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“The terahertz pulse exposes the sample to an intense 1 MV/cm2 electric field,” explains Hideki Hirori, team leader and Assistant Professor at Kyoto University’s Institute for Integrated Cell-Material Sciences (iCeMS). “The resulting exciton avalanche can be confirmed by a bright, near-infrared luminescence, demonstrating a three-order of magnitude increase in the number of carriers.”


Research in Kyoto using terahertz waves is led by Koichiro Tanaka, whose lab at the iCeMS pursues numerous applications including the development of new biological imaging technologies.


“Since terahertz waves are sensitive to water, our goal is to create a microscope that will allow us to look inside living cells in real time,” says Tanaka. “These just-released results using semiconductors are an entirely different field of science, but they demonstrate the rich potential that lies in the study of terahertz waves.”


This work was supported by Grant-in-Aid for Young Scientists (B) (Grant No. 21760038) of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, and also Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research on Innovative Area “Optical science of dynamically correlated electrons (DYCE)” (Grant No. 20104007) and Grant-in-Aid for Creative Scientific Research (Grant No. 18GS0208) of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Japan.


This research is further detailed in the paper “Extraordinary carrier multiplication gated by a picosecond electric field pulse” by H. Hirori et al in the online December 20, 2011 issue of Nature Communications.


Isofoton leads photovoltaic research in the EU


The Spanish company is showing a lot of activity in European R&D photovoltaic technology projects


To commemorate its 30th anniversary, Malaga based firm photovoltaic manufacturer Isofoton takes a look back into its history of R&D&i activities in the European region.


The European Union has several instruments aimed at supporting photovoltaic technology research and development, the most relevant of which is the Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technology Development.


Known as FP7, the NMP activities support nanotechnology and nanoscience projects, in addition to projects associated with new production and material development processes.


Between 2007 to 2013, the EU backed 39 R&D&i projects in the field of photovoltaic technology. These projects are grouped into 7 theme categories or clusters under the name ANNEX. The total sum contributed by the EU to these projects equals € 142.8 million, 90% of which come from FP7.


All this information has been collected from the report “Photovoltaics and nanotechnology: from innovation to industry” published by the European Commission.


Isofoton participates in 4 R&D projects of the 4 technology clusters that deal with the manufacture of existing photovoltaic devices, meaning the directly participates in over 10% of on-going photovoltaic technology projects at the European scale, ranking the firm as Europe’s first in terms of number of projects.


Isofoton is currently developing R&D activities along the four lines of work the EU considers have the greatest potential in the medium


January / February 2012 www.compoundsemiconductor.net 179


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