The participant’s research objective is to develop new and viable solar cell architectures in which self-assembled and light-induced nanostructures improve device manufacturing, construction, and operation. The participant, an optical applied physicist whose expertise is nonlinear dynamics, will be hosted by the ICFO-Institute of Photonic Sciences where she will join nanophotonics researchers trained in chemistry, material science, and physics. She will contribute the knowledge of numerical methods for analyzing pattern formation, self-assembling, and light scattering dynamics and will theoretically and experimentally investigate the sunlight absorption and exciton dynamics due to nanostructures. Among many mutually-beneficial long-term benefits of the participant’s involvement at ICFO is the encouragement of future collaborations between the Third country, the U.S., and European research groups. There is increasing environmental, commercial, and scientific interest in organic and polymer solar cells because the technology uses low-cost and biodegradable materials for producing electrical energy, however, challenges remain. In this research proposal, we summarize recent advances and general schemes for improving thin-film solar cells using nanostructures, largely from within the last 5 years. We describe what tools are not yet available and unresolved physical explanations accompanying demonstrated measurements. We cite examples of self-assembled thermally-annealed nanostructures that show promising results, as well as methods that we will develop for modeling and optimizing new solar cell designs. The research proposed here will focus on the designs for stable bulk heterojunction polymer solar cells, however, results from the investigations may also be relevant to other thin-film solar technology, and may contribute to future nanofabrication processes or methods of nano-characterization.
Field of science
- /natural sciences/mathematics/applied mathematics/numerical analysis
- /natural sciences/chemical sciences/polymer science
Call for proposal
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