The three and a half year project, funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), will investigate a number of new and novel solar cell designs, in an attempt to produce a more efficient system for generating green energy.
The consortium of researchers, led by Professor Paul O'Brien from The University of Manchester's School of Chemistry and Professor Jenny Nelson from The Department of Physics at Imperial College London, will investigate new designs that utilise intrinsically inexpensive materials and cheap fabrication methodologies.
The research team are aiming to build demonstration hybrid solar cells that have the long-term potential to be mass-produced and to achieve an energy conversion efficiency approaching ten per cent.
The cells will be made from both organic polymeric carbon-based materials and small particles of inorganic semiconductors.
Most designs are expected to draw on nanotechnology, with researchers planning to use so-called PbS nanorods - small cylinders of lead sulphide that are around 100 times smaller than a human hair.
Academics will also use semiconductor quantum dots - extremely small particles measuring around one ten-millionth of an inch - to absorb light.
Professor O'Brien said: "Alternatives to fossil fuel-based electricity sources are needed urgently, to reduce the environmental impact of electrical power generation and to secure our supply of electricity in the future.
"The widespread implementation of solar electricity requires a significant reduction in cost and a successful outcome to this project has the potential to provide a step-change solar cell technology."
Professor Nelson said: "A major reduction in the cost of solar power through the use of low-cost materials could seriously accelerate the take-up of renewable energy technology and make it much more accessible to the developing world."
The project is funded equally by the EPSRC's Materials and Energy programmes and will employ four postdoctoral research associates and two PhD students across the two universities.
By spreading the work across chemistry, electrical engineering, physics and materials departments, the consortium will investigate areas such as materials synthesis and characterisation, device fabrication and system integration.
Research at the University of Manchester will involve academics from the School of Chemistry, The School of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, The School of Materials and The School of Physics and Astronomy - making it a truly interdisciplinary project.
The funding award is the latest boost for The University of Manchester's School of Chemistry, which will officially open an expansive new £14m teaching and research extension tomorrow (Wednesday 28 February 2007).
Jon Keighren | alfa
Easier Diagnosis of Esophageal Cancer
06.03.2017 | Helmholtz Zentrum München - Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt
Sandia uses confined nanoparticles to improve hydrogen storage materials performance
27.02.2017 | DOE/Sandia National Laboratories
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences
24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy