High-efficiency Hybrid Solar Cells for Micro-generation

Lead Research Organisation: Imperial College London
Department Name: Physics


Widespread implementation of photovoltaic electricity to meet changing energy demands requires a step-change in the cost of photovoltaic power. This proposal assembles a consortium of chemists, physicists, materials scientists and electrical engineers from The University of Manchester and Imperial College London to address this need through the development of new low-cost, high-efficiency, demonstration solar cells for micro-generation.We propose new designs for hybrid organic/inorganic devices which integrate flexibility and stability with inexpensive materials and solution based processing. In one design, semiconductor quantum dots (QDs) are used as the light absorber at the interface between a high mobility organic hole transporter and an array of directed metal oxide nano-rods, which act as the electron transporter. Independent optimisation of the optical and electronic properties will lead to design rules for maximising power conversion efficiency. In a second design, hybrid polymer/QD blend solar cells with novel metal oxide electrodes will be optimised. This proposal combines new approaches for ultra high efficiency with ultra low cost in the same device concept for the first time. Our aim is to construct affordable demonstration hybrid solar cells that could be mass-produced with long-term potential to achieve energy conversion efficiency of 10%.
Description We have learnt how the properties of the organic and inorganic materials used in hybrid solar cells influence the solar cell performance. In particular, we showed how the treatment of the interface between the two components has a strong influence on performance. We applied new spectroscopic and materials preparation techniques to achieve the results.
Exploitation Route The experimental results and the characterisation techniques used will be relevant to other academic groups researching hybrid electronic materials, and could be of interest to industry.
Sectors Chemicals,Electronics,Energy,Environment

Description EPSRC
Amount £83,656 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/I501053/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom