MNP Seminar: Unravelling the mysteries of solar nanocells

Professor Wendy Flavell, University of Manchester, will be presenting her work as part of the Molecular and Nanoscale Physics research group seminar series. All welcome to attend.

Unravelling the mysteries of solar nanocells - insights from surface physics There is an urgent need to make better use of the 120,000 TW of power provided by the Sun, by using it to generate power, or by using its energy directly to make useful chemical feedstocks. Around the world, there is an explosion of research activity in new systems for harvesting solar energy, including solar cells based on colloidal quantum dots (CQDs). Issues of key importance are the interfacial energy level line-up of the cell components, and the influence of the surface properties of these materials on charge separation in the devices. Indeed, the deployment of CQDs in solar cells is currently limited by their high reactivity and rate of surface oxidation. A key problem is to understand how this affects the extraction of current, and to develop surface passivation strategies. I show how a combination of techniques including synchrotron and laser spectroscopies may be used to investigate surface ageing, to optimise charge dynamics and to design passivation strategies in novel solar cell heterojunctions.