Nanocomposite solar cells
By embedding low dimensional (0D, 1D, 2D) materials such as nanowires, nanotubes and quantum dots in polymers, we want improve the conversion efficiency and extend the use of solar energy, as a viable clean energy solution. Significant improvements in photocurrent and photoabsorption of polymers doped with carbon nanotubes are promising for nanocomposite solar cells.
Polymer solar devices are attractive as they are flexible and can be printed on plastic, paper, and fabric for wearable, mobile and distributed solar energy systems. However, these devices currently suffer from low conversion efficiency values as compared to current expensive silicon technology. The objective of this research project is to investigate use of nanowires, nanotubes, and quantum dots for polymer solar devices to boost their efficiency. These materials can enhance the sensitivity of light-absorbing polymer to desired solar wavelengths. In addition, they improve extraction of photogenerated carriers to electrodes, thus increasing the output current. The compound effect can show significant improvements in efficiency of what we refer to as "nanocomposite solar cells". Design and engineering of low dimensional materials, deposition technologies and innovative device structures are the subject of this research project.