Silicon is an abundant element and is produced in large quantities for the electronic industry. The falling price of this commodity also feeds the growth of solar photovoltaics (PV). However, solar cells (SCs) based on bulk semiconductors have quite limited maximum attainable performance. Therefore, new principles and materials are being investigat

Introduction to photovoltaics and potential applications of group IV nanostructures. Dielectric function and spectrophotometry: from bulk to nanostructures. Ab initio calculations of the electronic and optical properties of group IV semiconductor nanostructures embedded in different matrices. Silicon nanoclusters embedded in dielectric matrices: nucleation, growth, crystallization, defects. Excited-state relaxation in group IV nanocrystals investigated using optical methods. Carrier multiplication in isolated and interacting silicon nanocrystals. The introduction of majority carriers into group IV nanocrystals. Electrical transport in Si-based nanostructured superlattices. Ge nanostructures for harvesting and detection of light. Application of surface-engineered silicon nanocrystals with quantum confinement and carbon nanomaterials in solar cells. Prototype PV cells with Si nanoclusters.