New Age Solar Cells: Dye-Sensitized and Nanocrystal Approaches

Who (supervisor): Paul Bazylewski (Gap Soo Chang)
Venue: PEGASUS Student Summer Seminar, July 5, 2012.
Abstract: Recently, organic semiconductor materials have received significant attention as potential solar cell materials. This is due to appealing properties that cannot be achieved with conventional inorganic semiconductors (silicon), such as low-cost solution based fabrication of large-area, mechanically flexible devices. Solution processing is low temperature and therefore ideal for flexible plastic substrates which cannot withstand the high temperatures required for inorganic processing. To date, significant progress has been made in polymer/small molecule bulk heterojunction (BHJ) organic photovoltaic (OPV) devices, achieving power conversion efficiencies (PCE) up to 8%. Although promising, this PCE falls below the benchmark for commercialization of ~10%. Therefore research has branched off to explore different device architectures and new materials, with the most successful approaches to date being dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSC) and hybrid nanocrystal-organic solar cells (HSC). These devices take advantage of organic dyes and unique properties of nanocystals such quantum confinement to improve PCE. This talk will outline the state of the art of these two new approaches, and introduce the research collaboration I am currently undertaking to develop high efficiency solar cell devices.

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