Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Hybrid approach to solar power brings rewards

04.10.2007
SONS 2 scientist Dr Saif Haque of Imperial College London, is to receive the Royal Society of Chemistry's Edward Harrison Memorial Prize for his research on developing solar cells based on self-organising organic materials systems.

Haque first became involved with the ESF through its SONS 2 programme and through various networking opportunities. SONS 2 is the second round of the Self-Organised NanoStructures research for which ESF provides support.

The programme's main aim is to develop cross-disciplinary research at the interface between chemistry, materials science, nanoscience, physics and electrical engineering. Such a mix of disciplines is facilitating important developments in supramolecular science, the synthesis and control of functional assemblies, macromolecules, branching compounds known as dendrimers, liquid crystals, tailor-made polymers and inorganic nanoparticles, all of which requires input from very disparate fields.

The award-winning work being carried out in Haque's laboratory has already led to the development of organised supramolecular assemblies that have a 25% greater efficiency in experimental solar cell technology than conventional approaches using non-supramolecular components, and he is enthusiastic about how support through SONS2 is enabling this research to move forward rapidly.

"The funding from ESF and networking is important as it encourages and enables collaboration between different European research groups," he says. Such networking is also being facilitated by the ESF through its ORGANISOLAR scheme, adds Haque, this scheme is aimed at advancing research into organic photovoltaic materials by bringing together diverse, world-leading groups from across Europe together.

Such cutting edge work, of course, wins awards, and this year Haque receives the Edward Harrison Memorial Prize, a cash award of £500 pounds (about €700) together with a medal. "From a personal viewpoint I am delighted to be receiving this award," he says, "It is great to have your research recognised by such a prestigious award." He adds that, "From a general perspective, the award also serves to highlight solar photovoltaic research, which is becoming an important issue."

Indeed, alternatives to fossil fuel electricity sources are urgently needed, both for mitigation of climate change and future electricity supply. "Photovoltaic solar, the direct conversion of sunlight into electricity, is, "Haque says, "expected to play a significant role in future energy production."

He points out that nanostructured molecular electronic materials are particularly attractive for the development of new and efficient solar cells. However, there is quite some considerable way to go yet, which is why ESF's Self-Organised Hybrid Devices (SOYHD) project of which Haque is principal investigator within the SONS 2 scheme is so important. "A great amount of research and development is required before we can realise the goal of viable solar energy using inexpensive organic materials," Haque says.

"It is widely accepted that a key challenge to the design and development of molecular electronic devices such as solar cells is the ability to control materials structure at nanometre-length scale," Haque explains, "The application of supramolecular self-organising functional materials enables better control of materials structure at the nanometre length-scale." Haque and his colleagues are using a diverse range of skills to surmount these technical obstacles and so allow them to successfully achieve the aims of the SOHYD programme and to mature solar cell technology.

"A key requirement for the successful implementation of such materials in devices is the development of quantitative structure-function property relationships which enable the rational design of supramolecular materials for electronic device applications," he says, "It is also important to obtain a better understanding of the structure and function of such materials in the solid state"

The fact that the emerging technology is working with hybrid - both inorganic and organic semiconducting components together - as opposed to focusing on one or the other could lead to lead to success sooner. "The utilisation of such hybrid materials in molecular devices can, in principle, lead to high-performance devices that exhibit the superior optical and electrical properties of inorganic materials and the functional diversity and flexibility of organic compounds." It is this power and flexibility that means hybrid inorganic-organic devices are currently the subject of keen interest from both academic and industrial communities.

Sofia Valleley
EUROCORES Communications Coordinator
European Science Foundation
1, quai Lezay Marnésia
67000 Strasbourg
Tel: 0033 388 76 21 49
e-mail: svalleley@esf.org

Sofia Valleley | European Science Foundation
Further information:
http://www3.imperial.ac.uk/people/s.a.haque
http://www.esf.org/sons2
http://www.esf.org/organisolar

More articles from Power and Electrical Engineering:

nachricht Waste from paper and pulp industry supplies raw material for development of new redox flow batteries
12.10.2017 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

nachricht Low-cost battery from waste graphite
11.10.2017 | Empa - Eidgenössische Materialprüfungs- und Forschungsanstalt

All articles from Power and Electrical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Physics boosts artificial intelligence methods

19.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

NASA team finds noxious ice cloud on saturn's moon titan

19.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

New procedure enables cultivation of human brain sections in the petri dish

19.10.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>