D. Solar Energy and the Physical Environment

D.1. Solar Energy (3 credits)

Prerequisite: A first degree in one of the physical sciences.

Lectures Exercise Laboratory Field Trip

This course provides students with the basic understanding and analytical tools needed to analyze systems which convert solar energy into useful sources of power.

Lectures focus on:

  • Solar energy basics: overview of solar energy technology and applications; the solar resource; tracking collectors; collectible energy calculations; statistics of solar radiation and its significance for solar system design; the physics of solar-thermal collectors (optics, heat transfer in solar collectors; thermal radiation); energy storage; salt gradient solar ponds; passive solar buildings.
  • Photovoltaics: basic physics and engineering of solar cells; performance of individual cells and entire systems; test procedures for solar collectors; methods for predicting long-term average performance; new design concepts in solar thermal systems; practical design considerations for solar systems; intermediate and high-temperature solar power plants; photovoltaic power plants; and field work.

Lecturers: D. Faiman, D. Feuermann, J.M. Gordon

Recommended Reading:
Duffie, J.A. and W.A. Beckman (1991). Solar Engineering of Thermal Processes. 2nd Ed., Wiley & Sons.
Kreith, F. and J.F. Kreider (1978). Principles of Solar Engineering. McGraw-Hill, New York.
Rabl, A. (1985). Active Solar Collectors and their Applications. Oxford University Press, New York.
Koltun, M.M. (1988), Solar Cells: Their Optics and Metrology. Allerton Press, Inc., New York.
Faiman, D. (1993). The Present of Solar Electricity, Perspectives in Energy. 2, 127.

D.2. Photovoltaics and the Electrification of Remote Regions (4 credits)

Prerequisite: A first degree in one of the physical sciences or electrical engineering

Lectures Exercise Laboratory Field Trip

This course provides students with an understanding of the fundamentals of solar cells and system design.

  • Review of relevant solid state physics: band structure; semiconductors; phonon spectra; optical properties; photogeneration; recombination mechanisms; transport processes.
  • Basic solar cell structures: the 'pn' junction; semiconductor homojunctions; semiconductor heterojunctions; semiconductor metal junctions; semi-conductor insulator junctions; Semiconductor electrolyte junctions.
  • Physical properties of semiconductor materials: electro-optical characteristics; optimum band gap; polycrystalline/amorphous materials; interfaces; industrial production processes.
  • Device performance studies: current voltage characteristics and spectral sensitivity of solar cells; solar cells with improved optical and photoelectric characteristics; lowering the cost and automating the fabrication of solar cells; the future of solar cells with maximum efficiency and maximum collection coefficient throughout the solar spectrum and laboratory work.

Lecturers: D. Faiman, E. Katz

Recommended Reading:
Fahrenbruch, A.L. and R.H. Bube (1983). Fundamentals of Solar Cells. Academic Press.
Fonash, S.J. (1981). Solar Cell Device Physics. Academic Press.
Sze, S.M. (1981). Physics of Semiconductor Devices. Wiley & Sons.
B?er, K. (1992). Survey of Semiconductor Physics. Vols. I & II, Van Norstrand Reinhold, New York.
Koltun, M. (1988). Solar Cells: Their Optics and Metrology. Allerton Press.
Johansson, B. et. al. (Eds.) (1993). Renewable Energy: Sources for Fuels and Electricity. Island Press, Chapters 1-6.

D.3. Non-Imaging Optics (3 credits)

Lectures Exercise Laboratory Field Trip

Many important optical systems are concerned with power transfer and brightness rather than with image fidelity. These applications include laser pumping, fiber optic coupling, radiant heating, projection, solar energy, and detection. Non-imaging optics is a new design approach that departs from the methods of traditional optical design to develop new techniques for maximizing the collecting power of concentrator and illuminator systems. Non-imaging devices substantially outperform lenses and mirrors in these applications. In fact, performance of non-imaging devices may approach the theoretical (thermodynamic) limit. Practical non-imaging optical systems are now finding applications in many of these areas. Their use promises higher efficiency, relaxed physical tolerances, heightened optical uniformity, and reduced manufacturing costs.

This course includes:

  • A review of imaging geometrical optics and its inherent limitations: both reflective and refractive systems are considered, as well as line and point-focus devices.
  • Fundamental bounds on radiation concentration and illumination efficiency; derivation of thermodynamic limits and the role of conservation of e'tendue (optical throughput).
  • Compound parabolic concentrators as first examples of ideal concentrators and luminaires.
  • The edge-ray principle for designs of arbitrary absorber geometry; examples of ideal concentrators for tubular (2-D) and disc (3-D) shaped absorbers; examples of high-collection solar concentrators.
  • Generalization of reflective design principles to refractive (total internal reflection) devices.
  • Two-stage optical designs for compact concentrators (imaging primary plus non-imaging secondary); high-temperature solar energy applications.
  • Tailored-edge-ray concentrators: new principles for high-flux solar and infrared designs.
  • Illumination optics: principles of designing non-imaging reflectors to generate prescribed flux maps at maximal radiative efficiency.
  • Tailored-edge-ray luminaires: examples of different categories of solutions to the inverse problem and limits on reflector design.

Lecturer: J.M. Gordon

Recommended Reading:
Welford, W.T. and R. Winston (1989). High-Collection Non-imaging Optics. Academic Press, San Diego.
Selected papers from: Appl. Optics, Solar Energy and the J. of the Optical Soc. of America.

D.4  Introduction to Remote Sensing (2 1/2 credits)

Lectures Exercise Laboratory Field Trip
2   1  

Introduction to remote sensing is an introductory course on remote sensing principles, techniques, and applications, which is designed primarily for those with no background in the field. The course is a survey of the scope of remote sensing within a number of professional disciplines.

The course includes:

  • Introduction and basic terms.
  • Physical background (unites, electromagnetic spectrum, waves theory, quantum theory, radiation interaction with the atmosphere and with the Earth).
  • Spectral signature of ground features (vegetation, soils, rocks, water, snow, clouds, vegetation indices).
  • Resolutions (spatial, spectral, radiometric, temporal, mixed pixels).
  • Systems and platforms (satellite classifications, Landsat, SPOT).
  • Microwave remote sensing (radar principles, ERS, RADARSAT).
  • Thermal remote sensing.
  • Principles of Geographic Information Systems.
  • Introduction to image processing (image enhancement, filters, geometric corrections, atmospheric corrections, classification, colors).
  • Field methods (spectroscopic principles, collection of spectral data, sun photometry, BRDF).

Lecturer: A. Karnieli

Recommended reading:
Barret, E.C. and L.F. Curtis (1982). Introduction to Environmental Remote Sensing. New York: Chapan and Hall.
Avery, T. E. (1992). Fundamentals of Remote Sensing and Airphoto Interpretation. Berlin: Graydon Lennis.
Campbell, J.B. (1996). Introduction to Remote Sensing.
Conway, E.D. (1997). An Introduction to Satellite Image Interpretation. Maryland Space Grant Consortium.
Sabins, F.F. (1996). Remote Sensing : Principles and Interpretation. New York: W.H. Freeman and Company.
Lillesand, T.M. and R.W. Kiefer (1994). Remote Sensing and Image Interpretation. New York: John Wiley & Sons.

D.4a  Remote Sensing of Desertification Processes (2 1/2 credits)

Prerequisite: The course – "Introduction to Remote Sensing"

Lectures Exercise Laboratory Field Trip
2   1  

This course provides students with advanced understanding of remote sensing applications for desertification and climate change processes. The course includes:

  • An Introduction: Brief review of remote sensing techniques; Definition of desertification.
  • Remote sensing related to desertification: Salinization and water logging; Water erosion and alluvial processes; Hydrology and water resources; Vegetation degradation; Wind erosion, shifting dunes encroachment, and aeolian processes; Dust and salty-dust storms; Bush fires and biomass burning; Pest and disease; Man-induced small-scale land degradation; Climate change and weather modification.
  • Regional studies: The Sahara-Sahel environment; The Aral sea environment; The Negev-Sinai political border; Lake Chad. North China and the Gobi Desert.
  • Integration: Remote sensing modeling;. Early warning systems; GIS approach for desertification.

Lecturer: A. Karnieli

Recommended Reading:
Prince, S.D., C.O. Justice, and S.O. Los, (1990) Remote Sensing of the Sahelian Environment. CTA, Bruxelles, 128 p.

D.5. Physical Fundamentals of Remote Sensing and
       Data Collection
(2 credits)

Lectures Exercise Laboratory Field Trip

The main goal is to introduce environmental physics students to the physical principles and techniques used for monitoring semi-arid and arid environments.

This course covers:

  • The electromagnetic spectrum, the sun, and the atmosphere.
  • Electromagnetic theory.
  • Radiometric concepts, definitions and laws.
  • The spectro-radiometry of imaging and non-imaging systems.
  • The optics of the eye and the camera.
  • Photographic image recording.
  • Electro-optical detectors and systems.
  • Space remote sensing systems.

Lecturers: D. Faiman

Recommended Reading:
Slater, P.N. (1980). Remote Sensing: Optics and Optical Systems, Addison-Wesley Pub lishing Co., London.
Chassem Assar (Ed.) (1989). Theory and Applications of Optical Remote Sensing. Wiley & Sons, New York.
Elachi, C. (1989). Introduction to the Physics and Techniques of Remote Sensing. Wiley & Sons, New York.
Karl-Heinz Szekielda (1988). Satellite Monitoring of the Earth. Wiley & Sons, New York.

D.6. Dust in Arid Environments and related Topics from Environmental Engineering (2 credits)

Lectures Exercise Laboratory Field Trip

The course is planed for students in all environmentally oriented disciplines, civil and environmental engineers and other people concerned with environmental management, especially in arid and semi-arid regions.

The course provides a basic knowledge on the properties, behavior and effects of airborne in arid environments.

  • Main sources of aerosols in Nature. Typical concentrations of particulates in the air and deposition rates.Deserts as global sources of airborne dust.
  • The nature of windborne dust. Desert and sand. Desert and loess. Soil. Crust. Major mechanisms of dust formation and particle size distributions. Molecular and continuum regions: basic mechanisms of particle interaction.
  • Environmental effects of airborne dust: visibility, ecology, materials, climate and weather. General health effects.
  • Wind and its role in particles entrainment from surfaces.
  • Types of atmospheric stability. Horizontal and vertical dispersion of dust and air pollutants. Short-range and long-range transport of fine particles. Dust devils. Tornado. Dust storms.
  • Basic mechanisms of dust interaction with environment. Particle Size Density Function and General Dynamic Equation for its evolution.
  • Absorption and scattering of light by airborne particulates and related atmospheric phenomena. · Natural mechanisms of dust deposition: dry and wet deposition. Interaction of airborne particulates with clouds. Rainout and washout of dust from atmosphere.
  • Definitions of particle diameter according to methods of its measurement. Optical microscopy and projected particle diameter. Basic methods of image processing.
  • Basic mechanisms of dust deposition used in air filtration. Respirable particles and aerosol deposition in lungs. Clean rooms. Engineering safety features for enhancement of aerosol deposition after their release in accidence.

Lecturers: S. Biryukov

Recommended Reading:
Pye, K. (1989). Aeolian Dust and Dust Deposits. Academic Press, London.
Williams, M. and S. Loyalka. (1991). Aerosol Science. Theory and Practice. Pergamon Press, Oxford.
Perera, F., A Ahmed (1979). Respirable Particles. Impact of Airborne Fine Particulates on Health and the Environment. Ballinger Publishing Company, Cambridge.
Bohren, C., D. Huffman. (1983). Absorption and Scattering of Light by Small Particles. John Wiley & Sons, New York.
Vesilind, P., J.,Peirce, and R. Weiner. (1993). Environmental Engineering. Butterworth-Heinemann, Boston.

D.7. Theory and Applications of Image Processing (2 credits)

Lectures Exercise Laboratory Field Trip

This course introduces environmental physics students to the principles and techniques of image processing with applications to remote sensing and computer assisted microscopy.

  • Introduction to digital image processing.
  • · Image processing in computer assisted optical and electron microscopy.
  • Computer processing of remotely-sensed images.
  • Analysis of motion from image sequences.
  • Typical and specific image processing functions and their applications.
  • Image capture: modern hardware (CCD- and CID TV-cameras, Frame Grabbers).
  • Modern software packages for image processing.

Lecturer: S. Biryukov

Recommended Reading:
Russ, J.C. (1990). Computer Assisted Microscopy. Plenum Press, New York.
Weng, J. (1993). Motion and Structure from Image Sequences. Springer, Berlin.
Mather, P.M. (1987). Computer Processing of Remotely-Sensed Images. Wiley & Sons, New York.

D.8. Introduction to Continuous Transport Processes (2 credits)

Lectures Exercise Laboratory Field Trip

This course provides environmental physics students with a comprehensive introduction to the theory of continuous transport processes relevant for environmental and technological system modeling.

The course covers:

  • Transport in homogeneous systems: conservation laws in continuous medium; phenomenological equations; viscous flow; heat conductance; diffusion of non-electrolytes; homogeneous reaction-diffusion kinetics; diffusion waves; typical boundary value problems for parabolic transport equations; boundary conditions; concentrated thermal and mass capacity; free boundaries.
  • Heterogeneous transport processes: heterogeneous reaction-diffusion; adsorption; fronts in absorptionÑdiffusion and phase-change heat conductance; porous medium equation; similarity solutions; multiphase transport; homogenization; multifluid equations; kinetics of granular flow; sand-pile formation; sand-dune dynamics.
  • Membrane transport: electro-diffusion of ions; quasi-electro-neutrality and space charge in electrolyte solutions; ion exchange; double electric layer, electro-kinetic phenomena; physical principles of membrane desalination processes; reverse osmosis; electrodialysis; membrane oscillations; concentration polarization.
  • Elements of irreversible and finite time thermodynamics: energetic aspects of continuous transport processes; entropy production in and thermodynamic efficiency of lumped and distributed systems; optimal heating and cooling strategies; global optimization for physical processes; optimization of heat engines; the global circulation of the atmosphere.

Lecturers: J.M. Gordon, I. Rubinstein

Recommended Reading:
Landau, L.I. and E.M. Lifshitz (1982). Fluid Mechanisms. Pergamon, Oxford.
Bejan, A. (1982). Entropy Generation through Heat & Fluid Flow. Wiley & Sons.
Andresen, B. (1983). Finite Time Thermodynamics. University of Copenhagen.
Bird, R.B., W.E. Stewart and E.N. Lightfoot (1960). Transport Phenomena. Wiley & Sons, New York.
Crank, J. (1957). The Mathematics of Diffusion. Clarendon Press, London.
Probstein, R.F. (1989). Physico-Chemical Hydrodynamics. Butterworths, Boston.

D.9. Introduction to Stochastic Processes (3 1/2 credits)

Lectures Exercise Laboratory Field Trip

An important feature of the desert environment is the large variability (in time and space) of the parameters describing it. Thus, a proper treatment of desert environmental issues must account for the stochastic properties of this environment. This course will introduce the mathematical methods developed for this kind of analysis.

Lectures include: Introduction (historical background); definitions and concepts in the theory of probability; random functions and their statistical characteristics; stationary random processes and spectral densities; Gaussian and non-Gaussian random processes; Markov Processes; Ito Calculus and stochastic differential equations; the Fokker-Planck equation; approximation methods for diffusion processes; master equations and jump processes; spatially distributed systems.

Lecturers: Y. Zarmi, A. Zemel

Recommended Reading: Gardiner, C.W. (1983). Handbook of Stochastic Processes. Springer Verlag, Berlin. Stratonovich, R.L. (1981). Topics in the Theory of Random Noise. Vols. I & II Gordon & Breach, New York.

D.10. Topics in Environmental Fluid Mechanics (2 1/2 credits)

Prerequisite: It is assumed that the student has a background in the calculus of functions of one and several variables, vector calculus and ordinary differential equations and has been introduced to some elementary aspects of partial differential equations (such as, for example, separation of variables). Some knowledge of fluid mechanics is helpful but not essential.

Lectures Exercise Laboratory Field Trip
2   1  

This course provides the environmental physics students with an overview of fluid flow phenomena in the environment, beginning with fundamental fluid dynamics concepts and relations.

  • Basic concepts and equation of fluid dynamics: Description of fluid motion: kinematics of flow. Equations of fluid dynamics: continuity equation; momentum equations; the energy equation. Formulation of problems in fluid dynamics: boundary and initial conditions; similarity of fluid flows; dimensional analysis. Irrotational flow. Viscous fluid dynamics: the Navier-Stokes equations; exact solutions of the Navier-Stokes equations; slow viscous flows; (stokes approximation); high Reynolds number flows (boundary layer approximation); jets. Hydrodynamic stability and transition to turbulence. Elements of turbulence theory. Stability of the non-uniformly heated fluid and. free convection.
  • Fluid dynamics in environmental applications: Buoyancy forcing of the circulation in the atmosphere and oceans. Environmental manifestations of flow instabilities. Shallow convective circulation in clouds and patterns formation: cloud streets; cellular cloud structures. Stratified flows over topography: blocking; lee waves; severe local storms. Baroclinic instability and the general atmospheric circulation: large-scale eddies (cyclones and anticyclones); frontogenesis; fronts. The concept of vorticity and mesoscale vortex flows; tornadoes. Thermal and salt-driven convection in oceanic flows. Air and water pollution problems

Lecturers: G.I. Burde, I. Rubinstein

Recommended Reading:
Batchelor, G.K. (1977). An Introduction to Fluid Dynamics. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
Tritton, D.J. (1988). Physical Fluid Dynamics. 2nd Edition, Clarendon Press, Oxford
Gill, A.E. (1982). Atmosphere-Ocean Dy namics. Academic Press, New York

D.11. Optimization Methods in Thermal Systems (3 credits)

Lectures Exercise Laboratory Field Trip

In this course students use a synthesis of optimal control theory and basic thermal physics to explore how to determine optimal operating strategies for a broad range of thermodynamic procedures of practical interest, such as heat engines, refrigeration systems, heat exchangers, industrial heating and chemical converters. A knowledge of fundamental bounds in thermodynamic problems--even realistic irreversible systems--does not tell us HOW to perform these processes so as to attain maximum performance, namely the time evolution of the key thermodynamic variables for optimal behavior, e.g., temperature, concentration, pressure, etc.

  • Review of finite-time and finite-resource thermodynamics: discussion of types of problems for which new methods and understanding can be developed in heat transfer, heat engines, refrigeration devices, and chemical engines; explanation of the roles of optimal control theory and irreversible thermodynamics.
  • Review of the fundamentals of optimal control theory with illustrative applications: derivation of the types of heat engine and heat pump cycles that maximize efficiency and minimize entropy production.
  • Simple universal models for irreversible heat engines: the endo-reversible engine and its variations. derivation of fundamental power-efficiency characteristics; universal basis for comparing different types of heat engines; fundamental bounds on heat engine performance.
  • Finite-time thermodynamic models for refrigeration devices (heat pumps and chillers): derivation of basic relations between Coefficient of Performance and cooling rate; universal aspects of cooling systems.
  • Realistic but general modeling of real heat engines: examples include Brayton cycles (gas turbines), Rankine cycles (steam turbines), thermoelectric generators and generic heat-leak dominated engines; optimization of combined cycle power plants from analytic tools in finite-time thermodynamics.
  • Optimal piston trajectories in reciprocating engines: use of optimal control theory to find piston motion that minimizes frictional and heat leak losses and hence maximizes engine efficiency.
  • Optimizing heating and cooling systems for minimum entropy production: examples include heat exchanger design and common industrial heating and cooling processes.
  • Chemical engines: use of finite-time thermodynamics to determine optimal chemical engine (chemical converter) cycles, and fundamental bounds on engine performance: applications include mass-exchange systems, electrochemical and solid-state devices.

Lecturer: J.M. Gordon

Recommended Reading:
Andresen, B. (1983). Finite-Time Thermodynamics. University of Copenhagen.
Selected papers from: J. of Appl. Phs. and Am. J. of Phys.

D.12. Electro-diffusion of Ions and Membrane
          Desalination Processes
(3 credits)

Lectures Exercise Laboratory Field Trip

Electro-diffusion of ions, that is their diffusion combined with migration in the electric field, is the basic mechanism of ionic transport in electrolyte solutions, ion exchangers and ion exchange membranes. The course is aimed at introducing the environmental physics students to the theory of this process within the context of membrane desalination processes, such as electrodialysis and reverse osmosis.

  • Introduction: Equations of electro-diffusion; local equilibrium; local electro-neutrality approximation.
  • Nonlinear effects in electro-diffusional equilibrium: the Poisson-Boltzmann equation; electric field and force saturation; counterion condensation.
  • Electro-diffusion with local electro-neutrality in the absence of an electric current: nonlinear diffusion; limiting cases; sharp propagating fronts.
  • Ion transfer across potential barriers: ion exchange; principles of membrane transport; charged membranes; physical principles of membrane separation and desalination processes; desalination by electrodialysis and reverse osmosis.
  • Stationary current with local electro-neutrality: integration of stationary electro-diffusion equations in one dimension; multiple steady states in one dimensional electro-diffusion; concentration polarization of an electrolyte solution under electric current; binary electrolyte; supporting electrolyte; non-equilibrium counterion selectivity of ion-exchange membranes; concentration polarization at an inhomogeneous interface.
  • Space charge effects: liquid contact; stationary space charge; electro-diffusional free boundary problems.
  • Convective electro-diffusion: electro-convective instabilities; electro-convection at a non-homogeneous ion-selective interface; electro-kinetic phenomena; electro-osmosis; electrophoresis; electro-osmotic oscillations.

Lecturers: I. Rubinstein, B. Zaltzman

Recommended Reading:
Levich, V.G. (1962). Physico-Chemical Hydrodynamics. Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs.
Newman, J.S. (1973). Electro-Chemical Systems. Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs.
Probstein, R.F. (1994). Physico-Chemical Hydrodynamics. Wiley-Interse, New York.
Rubinstein, I. (1990). Electro-Diffusion of Ions. SIAM, Philadelphia.

D.13. Partial Differential Equations in Mathematical Physics (3 1/2 credits)

Lectures Exercise Laboratory Field Trip
3 1    

  • Introduction. Elements of calculus and theory of ordinary differential equations. Elements of continuum mechanics, electrostatics, electrodynamics, chemical kinetics and equilibrium thermodynamics.
  • Laws of conservation and continuity. Basic equations of mathematical physics. Convection equation, heat conduction equation, wave equation and Laplace equation.
  • First order linear partial differential equations (PDE). Cauchy problem. Characteristics and discontinuities. First integrals and general solution.
  • Classification of the second-order linear PDE. Concepts of hyperbolic, parabolic and elliptic equations. Canonical form of second-order linear PDE.
  • One-dimensional wave equation as a model of small vibrations of elastic string. Cauchy problem and traveling waves. Initial-boundary problems in the half axis and bounded interval. Conservation of energy. Effect of friction and Telegraph equation. Separation of variables. Nonhomogeneous problem and Duhamel method.
  • One-dimensional heat conduction (diffusion) equation. Cauchy problem. Similarity solutions and Green's function. Initial-boundary problems in the half axis and bounded interval. Maximum principle. Moments and long-time asymptotics of the solution to the Cauchy problem. Nonhomogeneous problem and Duhamel method. Separation of variables.
  • Electrostatics and Laplace equation. Poisson equation. Basic properties of harmonic functions. Green's functions and solution of the boundary-value problems. Outer and inner boundary-value problems and elements of potential theory.
  • Phase change processes. Stefan problem as a typical example of a free boundary problem.

Lecture: Boris Zaltzman

Recommended reading:
Chester, C.R. ( 1971). Techniques in partial differential equations. McGraw Hill.
Tikhonov A.N. and A.A. Samarskii (1963). Equations of mathematical physics. Pergamon Press.
Courant R. and D. Hilbert (1962.). Methods of Mathematical Physics I, II. Intersect. Publ. 1953 .
Rubinstein I. and L. Rubinstein (1993). Partial Differential Equations in Classical Mathematical Physics, Cambridge University Press.

D.14.   Introduction to Seniconductor Materials and Devices (2 credits)

Lectures Exercise Laboratory Field Trip

The purpose of the course is to provide participants (Master Degree students) with the fundamentals, theoretical and experimental aspects of materials science and physics of semiconductors as well as simple semiconductor devices with a p-n junction and Schottky barrier which are the basic elements of modern photovoltaics, electronics and electro optics.

The course presents:

  • Types of chemical bonds. Crystalline structure of a solid. Crystals and amorphous materials. Defects of crystalline structure: grain boundaries, dislocations, point defects. Metals, insulators and semiconductors. Chemical structural and electrical aspects of semiconductors. Electrons and holes. Intrinsic and doped semiconductors. Bond model of a Group IV semiconductor with dopants from Group III and V. Why semiconductors do play such an important role in electronics and photovoltaics?
  • Probability of occupation of allowed states: other definition of semiconductors. Band gap and intraband states. Equilibrium statistics of electrons and holes in intrinsic and doped semiconductors.
  • Interaction of light with semiconductors: absorption, reflection and transmission. Processes of generation and recombination of charge carriers. Photoluminescence. Photoconductivity and other photoelectrical phenomena in semiconductors.
  • Transport of electrons and holes. Basic equations of semiconductor device physics. P-n junction diodes. Dark current-voltage characterizes of p-n junction. Junction capacitance. Schottky barrier.
  • An introduction to semiconductor technology. Growth of crystals and thin films. Basic techniques for a p-n junction formation: diffusion, ion implantation, epitaxial thin film deposition. Homo- and hetero-junctions. Photolithography.
  • Current-voltage characteristics of a p-n junction under illumination. Semiconductor solar cells. Main output parameters of a solar cell. Spectral sensitivity. Temperature and irradiance effect. Solar cell design. Effect of the crystalline structure and properties of semiconductor materials on the parameters of solar cells.
  • Other semiconductor devices with a p-n junction and a Schottky barrier. Different types of diodes. Bipolar and field transistors. Integrated circuits. Photodetectors. Light emission diodes. Semiconductor lasers.
Lecturer: E. Katz

Recommended Reading:
Boer, K.W.(1990). Survey of semiconductor physics. Van Nostrand Reinhold, N.Y.
Pankove, J. (1971). Optical Processes in Semiconductors. Dover Publications, Inc., N.Y.
Sze, S.M. (1981). Physics of semiconductor devices. 2nd ed., Wiley.
Kaldis, E. (ed) (1980). Current Topics in Materials Science. vol. 3-4, 1979-1980.K.J.
Bachmann, K.J. (1995) The Materials Science of Microelectronics. VCH, NEW YORK, N.Y.
Green, G. (1986) Solar Cells. University of South Wales.

Relevant scientific journals:
Journal of Applied Physics
Applied Physics Letters
Semiconductor Science and Technology
Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells
Progress in Photovoltaics

D.15. Advanced Seniconductor Materials and Devices for Photovoltaics (1 credits)

Lectures Exercise Laboratory Field Trip
1   1  

  • Polycrystalline and semi crystalline solar cells. Effects of grain boundaries on solar cell parameters.
  • Concentrator solar cells. Tandem solar cells. Thermophotovoltaics.
  • Fullerenes and fullerene-based crystal and thin films. Electronic structure and photoelectrical properties of these novel semiconductor materials.
  • Organic solar cells. New concept for plastic solar cells: network of internal heterojunctions between donor (conjugated polymer) and acceptor molecule (fullerene).

Laboratory exercises:

  • Measurements and mathematical analysis of dark and light I-V curve of Si and GaAs solar cells.
  • Measurements and mathematical analysis of the temperature dependence of the solar cell parameters.
  • Study of an irradiance effect on the solar cell parameters.
  • Computer simulation of the photoelectrical phenomena in semiconductors.

Lecturer: E. Katz

Recommended Reading:
Boer, K.W.(1990). Survey of semiconductor physics. Van Nostrand Reinhold, N.Y.
Pankove, J. (1971). Optical Processes in Semiconductors. Dover Publications, Inc.,
Sze, S.M. (1981). Physics of semiconductor devices. 2nd ed., Wiley.
Kaldis, E. (ed) (1980). Current Topics in Materials Science. vol. 3-4, 1979-1980.
Bachmann, K.J. (1995) The Materials Science of Microelectronics. VCH, New York, .
Green, G. (1986) Solar Cells. University of South Wales.
Dresselhaus, M.S., G. Dresselhaus and P.C. Eklund (1996). Science of fullerenes and carbon nanotubes. Academic Press.

Relevant scientific journals:
Journal of Applied Physics
Applied Physics Letters
Semiconductor Science and Technology
Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells
Progress in Photovoltaics

D.16.   Geography of Desertification (2 credits)

Lectures Exercise Laboratory Field Trip

The course is concerned with anthropogenic and natural factors of desertification, and world geography of desertification processes relatively to specific climatic, geographic and socio-economic conditions

  • Introduction: Brief review of geographic distribution of the deserts over the world; climatic pre-conditions of desert formation. Definitions of desertification; factors, criteria, indicators, and inherent risk of desertification/degradation processes.
  • World geography of desertification: 1) Desertification in African countries (overgrazing; cutting of the trees and shrubs for firewood; water and wind erosion; salinization and waterlogging in Egypt; overgrazing in Tunisia. Marginal lands: Sahelian tragedy. Degradation of the pastures in Botswana. Wind and water erosion in Nigeria); 2) Australia (Droughts and desertification. Overgrazing and soil erosion); 3) Central Asian countries (Wind and water erosion. Frozen and melting processes at cold plateau. Soil salinization. Rangeland and arable land degradation. Deforestation. Vegetation degradation in Mongolia. Salinization and waterlogging in Mesopotamia and Ind basin); 4) North, Central and South America (Overgrazing. Droughts and sand storms. “Dust bowl” in USA. Salinization and water scarcity in the West. Urbanization and desertification. Deforestation processes); 5) Aral Sea Basin – zone of ecological crisis (Pastoralism and desertification processes. Technogenic desertification. Irrigation and desertification. Drainage and desertification. Drying of the Aral Sea. Delta ecosystems degradation. Salt-dust storms in the Aral region. Desertification and population health).
  • Combating desertification: UN Plan of Action to Combat Desertification, modern technologies to combat desertification: irrigated farming, rational utilization of water resources, water- and power supply of arid lands, man-made ecosystems, sand dune control, rational utilization of rangelands, afforestaion.
Lecturer: L. Orlovsky

Recommended Reading: Provided during the course