The course examines non-petroleum sources of energy including photovoltaic cells, photocatalytic generators of hydrogen from water, and nuclear fusion reactors. The advanced physics of these emerging technical areas are introduced in this course. Semiconductor junctions, optical absorption in semiconductors, photovoltaic effect. Energy conversion efficiency of the silicon solar cell. Single crystal, polycrystal, and thin film types of solar cells. Excitons in bulk and in confined geometries. Excitons in energy transport within an absorbing structure. Methods of making photocatalytic surfaces and structures for water splitting. Conditions for nuclear fusion. Plasmas and plasma compression. The toroidal chamber with magnetic coils as it appears in recent designs. Nuclear fusion by laser compression (inertial fusion). Small scale exploratory approaches to fusion based on liquid compression and electric field ionization of deuterium gas.
Prerequisites: PH2004 or PH2033