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I. Basic Properties of Semiconductors

This section will give the physical reasons why semiconductors are ideal materials for solar cells, as well as explain how these properties of semiconductors are a result of particle interactions on the atomic level. In order to study the physics of solar energy conversion, one must understand why semiconductors create a usable current under sunlight; the answer lies in the study of electron excitation, band gaps, and Fermi levels. This section will include many ideas that are important in condensed matter physics, and illustrate how properties of materials such as semiconductors allow us to construct not only solar cells, but many modern electronic devices.

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