The successful integration of new, 3D nano-architectures into devices such as sensors, solarcells, light emitting diodes (LEDs) a.o. on a silicon (Si) platform requires new approaches towards fabrication and characterization. The present paper will show device concepts relying on Si nanowires (NWs) or inverted, cone-shaped, 1D Si structures (SiNCs) which permit the concentration and confinement of visible (VIS) and near infrared (NIR) light in whispering gallery modes (WGMs). Fabrication concepts based on nano-lithography and dry etching and optical property optimization based on numerical simulations (finite difference time domain - FDTD) will be presented. Individual as well as ensembles of these 1D nano-structures will be integrated in pn-junction solar cells (all-inorganic or organic-inorganic hybrids). Design rules for optimized absorption (VIS-NIR) will be derived. Moreover, novel carrier selective, nano-material composite based contacting schemes will be presented. Among those, silver nanowire based composites and graphene are demonstrated. Materials and device characterization will rely on advanced correlated electron microscopy and optical spectroscopy (CORMIC) containing electron beam induced current (EBIC) measurements, I-V characterization with and without illumination (with tunable power and wavelength) inside a scanning electron microscope (SEM), cathode-, photo- luminescence as well as in-SEM micro-Raman spectroscopy.
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