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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/K022237/1
Title: All Inorganic Bulk Heterojunction Solar Cell Devices
Principal Investigator: Mariotti, Professor D
Other Investigators:
Connor, Dr PA Irvine, Professor J Maguire, Professor P
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Professor X Xu
Project Partners:
AIST (Advanced Industrial Sci & Tech) Institute of Metal Research Sasol Technology
Department: Nanotechnology and Adv Materials Inst
Organisation: University of Ulster
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 August 2013 Ends: 31 July 2016 Value (£): 692,713
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Solar Technology
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Energy
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
23 Jan 2013 SUPERGEN Solar Energy Challenges Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Photovoltaic technology is critical to securing the future energy supply of UK and the exploration and development of new technologies that may significantly enhance efficiencies would be a major breakthrough for photovoltaics, for national energy strategy and provide a head-start for new UK industry.

The deployment of next generation, low-cost and high-efficiency solar cells is a multifaceted challenge that requires a multidisciplinary effort and includes fundamental physics, material synthesis/processing, process development/optimization and full device fabrication and characterization. Boosting efficiency and lowering costs can only be achieved with a full-span vision of all device-related aspects. Considerations on materials costs, availability and environmental impact are also mandatory. Current solar cell technologies all rely on fundamental physical principles that are intrinsically limiting device efficiency. In order to overcome this theoretical limit new approaches are required that exploit different physical mechanisms.

The proposed project aims to bring together advanced and novel materials with unique properties that can overcome theoretical limits. Specifically silicon-based quantum confinement and novel tuned-bandgap metal oxide semiconductors with high hole conductivity will be used to deliver the first all-inorganic bulk-heterojunction photovoltaic device capable of exploiting carrier multiplication and offering the potential of efficiencies beyond the theoretical limit of current technologies. Utilising low cost, non-degradable, non-toxic, abundant and environmentally-friendly materials as well as low cost and scalable fabrication strategies, the aim is to open up novel and transformative approaches based on nanotechnology. The proposed devices will represent at the end of the project a serious contender for future high efficiency low-cost photovoltaics with limited environmental footprint and they will open up a new era for low-cost solar energy harvesting. The proposal will bring novel elements from chemistry, nanotechnology, materials and plasmas together with device engineering, and will access expertise from world-leading groups in materials and photovoltaics.
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Organisation Website: http://www.ulst.ac.uk