Developing new solar cells – cheaper, or more efficient?

View Developing new solar cells – cheaper, or more efficient? Developing new solar cells

Presenter: Neil Greenham

Published: July 2013

Age: 14-19 and upwards

Views: 755 views

Tags: solar

Type: Lectures

Source/institution: Royal Society

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Using solar cells to convert sunlight to electricity is an attractive way to reduce carbon emissions, but solar cells are still too expensive to be installed on the scale required. The next generation of solar cells aim to solve this problem using strongly absorbing materials such as polymers that can be deposited cheaply over large areas by printing. This lecture will described how we can improve the performance of these devices by understanding and controlling the complex nanostructures that allow charges to be extracted from the active layer. It also presented a new approach that might break the 34% efficiency limit that applies to all simple solar cells, by extracting the energy from the blue and green parts of the solar spectrum that is normally wasted. Professor Greenham’s research focuses on novel low-dimensional semiconductors that can be deposited from solution, in particular conjugated polymers and semiconductor nanocrystals. He was awarded the Kavli Medal and Lecture for his exceptional work on hybrid materials, combining polymer semiconductors with inorganic nanoparticles, and their use in printable solar cells. Professor Greenham’s research focuses on novel low-dimensional semiconductors that can be deposited from solution, in particular conjugated polymers and semiconductor nanocrystals. He was awarded the Kavli Medal and Lecture for his exceptional work on hybrid materials, combining polymer semiconductors with inorganic nanoparticles, and their use in printable solar cells.