Nonlinear photocurrents in two-dimensional ferroelectrics and beyond
Benjamin Fregoso, Dept. of Physics, Kent State University
In recent years, it has become clear the need for efficiently harvesting solar energy. Unfortunately, silicon-based solar cells with high efficiency are very costly. These devices rely on pn-junctions to separate positive and negative charge carries. I this talk, I explore a less known (but very interesting) nonlinear optical effect, so-called `shift current’, to generate large photocurrent beyond the pn-junction paradigm. I will describe the shift-current mechanism in insulators and ferroelectrics and its relation to spontaneous electric polarization. Generalizations of the shift current in higher order powers of the electric field will be described. Importantly, we discuss material candidates with large shift current which are promising for optoelectronic applications.