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 Did you know that the wrapping of Easter eggs benefits from specialty light sources?
13.04.2017 | Heraeus Noblelight GmbH

nachricht To e-, or not to e-, the question for the exotic 'Si-III' phase of silicon
05.04.2017 | Carnegie Institution for Science

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: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Link Discovered between Immune System, Brain Structure and Memory

26.04.2017 | Life Sciences

New survey hints at exotic origin for the Cold Spot

26.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

NASA examines newly formed Tropical Depression 3W in 3-D

26.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>