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Low dimensional semiconductors for optically tuneable solar harvesters

Project description

Boosting future solar-cell efficiency with low-dimensional materials

One-dimensional (1D) semiconductors are promising absorber materials for use in solar cells, thanks to their unique capability to display excellent electrical properties in very thin layers when correctly oriented. The EU-funded SENSATE project will develop a wide range of wide-band-gap 1D semiconductors such as chalcogenide, halide and mixed chalcogenide/halide compounds. The materials are expected to allow for a tuneable change in their optical properties, ensuring optical transparency exceeds 50 %. Their use will also improve the overall conversion efficiency of solar cells, achieving efficiencies of more than 20 %. If successful, SENSATE will have an unprecedented impact on our perception of solar cell energy, promoting applications that are currently considered marginal, like (semi-)transparent and coloured devices for building-integrated photovoltaics and electronics.


SENSATE proposes ground breaking ideas and concepts combining very innovative low dimensional thin film materials and highly asymmetric selective contacts with dipoles, for the development of non-intrusive and universal solar energy harvester. Materials, processes and devices design innovations will be combined in a straightforward manner, in order to develop next generation of cost-efficient and highly-stable/optically-tuneable photovoltaic (PV) devices.
For achieving this, SENSATE proposes exploiting for the first time the full optical and electrical potential of one-dimensional (1D) thin film wide bandgap materials, including chalcogenide, halide and mixed chalcogenide/halide compounds. The use of 1D semiconductors as PV absorbers will represent a breakthrough thanks to their unique capability to exhibit excellent electrical properties in very thin layers when correctly oriented, keeping at the same time tuneable optical properties to ensure good transparency (AT > 50%), and very competitive efficiencies (>20%). A wide range of wide bandgap 1D semiconductors will be developed (Eg between 1.50-2.70 eV), including strategies for their 1D texturing using annealing at high pressure and under magnetic fields.
This will be combined with disruptive selective asymmetric contacts based on electron and hole transport metal oxide layers, enhanced with superficial organic and inorganic dipoles, to develop a ubiquitous solar harvester with customized transparency/efficiency. If succeed, SENSATE will have an unprecedented impact in our perception of PV energy, opening the possibility to applications that nowadays are considered marginal. Transparent, semi-transparent and coloured devices for advanced BIPV applications and electronics, as well as top cells for very high efficiency and low cost tandem/multi-junction devices will benefit from this technology, setting the basis required for a massive PV implementation and contributing to change our energy consumption model.


Net EU contribution
€ 1 648 550,00
Calle jordi girona 31
08034 Barcelona

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Este Cataluña Barcelona
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Other funding
€ 0,00

Beneficiaries (2)