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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/F065884/1
Title: Self-organized nanostructures in hybrid solar cells
Principal Investigator: Snaith, Professor HJ
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Oxford Physics
Organisation: University of Oxford
Scheme: First Grant Scheme
Starts: 02 May 2008 Ends: 01 May 2012 Value (£): 446,685
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Materials Characterisation Materials Processing
Solar Technology
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
18 Mar 2008 Materials Prioritisation Panel Meeting (March 08) Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Traditional mainstream inorganic semiconductor technology has been remarkably successful. However, standard fabrication techniques of microelectronic devices and components rely on a layer-by-layer assembly process and fall short of delivering three dimensional control of device architecture. Naturally-occurring complex systems utilize self-organising three dimensional architectures to deliver functionality beyond the properties of the individual components. To generate highly structured inorganic materials nature usually employs organic templates. Coordinating between inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry, material science and semiconductor physics is one of the opportunities within nanotechnology. This area of multidisciplinary research provides the tools to fabricate three dimensional architectures which promise to deliver novel functionality to material composites. One of the most significant and pressing challenges to face society today is to generate clean renewable power, in order to sustain economic growth and to reduce our negative impact upon the environment. Highly structured material composites with large interfacial surface area between dissimilar components are of particular importance in energy storage and generation, such as batteries, photovoltaics and fuel cells. There is significant current interest in structures ideal for the photovoltaic response due to the potential exploitation as solar cells. The challenge is in fabricating material composites which absorb sufficient sun light, generate charge effectively from the absorbed light, which for organic and hybrid (organic-inorganic) composites requires a large interfacial surface area, and have efficient charge collection pathways to an external circuit, the latter competing with charge recombination. Here, self-organising molecular materials, and specifically di-block co-polymers as templates for inorganic semiconductor architectures will be developed and integrated into prototype low-cost hybrid photovoltaic systems. Specific objectives within this First Grant Project are to develop novel photovoltaic systems which out perform the current state-of-the-art and to greatly enhance our understanding of the physics occurring within nanostructured composites and at the interface between hard and soft semiconductors.
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Organisation Website: http://www.ox.ac.uk