Using the small-perturbation assumption that all the useful work is in the form of electron-hole pairs when photons from a blackbody radiation source are incident on a quantum device, we derive the minimum probability of generation of one or more pairs of electron holes. Using the Planck radiation formula for the solar spectrum at 6000 K and for the quantum device at 300 K, this minimum probability is about 0.8 at low photon frequency and approaches the limiting value of 0.95 at high frequency. Its relation to maximum efficiency of a quantum device is discussed.
C. Wu, "Minimum Probability of Electron-Hole Pair Generation by Blackbody Radiation," Journal of Applied Physics, vol. 58, no. 1, pp. 575-578, American Institute of Physics (AIP), Jul 1985.
The definitive version is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.335665
Electrical and Computer Engineering
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