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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/L024667/1
Title: Organometal halide photovoltaic cells: tailoring fundamental light conversion pathways
Principal Investigator: Herz, Professor LM
Other Investigators:
Johnston, Professor MB Snaith, Professor HJ
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Oxford Photovoltaics Ltd
Department: Oxford Physics
Organisation: University of Oxford
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 April 2014 Ends: 30 September 2017 Value (£): 820,074
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Materials Synthesis & Growth Solar Technology
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
05 Feb 2014 EPSRC Physical Sciences Materials - February 2014 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
There is overwhelming evidence that our increasing consumption of fossil fuels and the associated emission of carbon dioxide is leading to climate change. This has brought new urgency to the development of clean, renewable sources of energy. Photovoltaic devices that harvest the energy provided by the sun have great potential to contribute to the solution, but uptake of photovoltaic energy generation has been weakened by the cost of devices based on current technology. The key to reducing cost is the development of new photovoltaic materials allowing easy, large-scale processing from solution or low-temperature evaporation that does not require costly purification and high-energy deposition. Importantly, fabrication of photovolatics on conducting plastic or metallic foil electrodes will transform the production techniques from costly semiconductor processing towards printing technology. To the great surprise of the photovoltaics community, a new generation of thin-film photovoltaic cells based on organometal halide perovskite absorbers emerged suddenly over the last 1-2 years which rapidly reached power conversion efficiencies exceeding 15% as materials control and device protocol improved. The methylammonium lead halide perovskite materials employed allow low-cost solution processing in air and absorb broadly across the solar spectrum, making them an exciting new component for clean energy generation.

The key aim of the proposed program is to establish the crucial parameters underpinning the workings of organometal halide perovskite solar cells. The recent remarkable progress in the power conversion efficiencies of these devices has been largely serendipitous, achieved by an initially highly successful trial-and-error approach. Obtaining a clear understanding of fundamental parameters governing light-to-photocurrent conversion now holds the clue to further development of this material class for light-harvesting technologies. Currently, the research community holds little knowledge on factors that have already been well established for most other photovoltaic materials, such as charge generation, recombination and diffusion, as well as the influence of basic material parameters such as composition, morphology, trap states and doping. The presented program is extremely timely, as it will unleash a further wave of efficiency improvements that now crucially relies on a more targeted approach to material advances. In a multi-faceted approach we will combine a study of device performance with advanced spectroscopic investigations, determining directly how fundamental processes can be tuned by materials modifications, and as a result presenting new records in photovoltaic efficiencies.

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Organisation Website: http://www.ox.ac.uk