EPSRC logo

Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/S002103/1
Title: Singlet Fission in Carotenoid Aggregates (SIFICA)
Principal Investigator: Clark, Dr J
Other Investigators:
Hunter, Krebs Professor of Biochemistry CN
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
University of Cambridge
Department: Physics and Astronomy
Organisation: University of Sheffield
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 January 2019 Ends: 31 December 2022 Value (£): 851,312
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Chemical Biology Light-Matter Interactions
Materials Characterisation Materials Synthesis & Growth
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
14 Jun 2018 EPSRC Physical Sciences - June 2018 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Singlet fission is the process whereby one photon creates two triplet excited states. If both triplet states could be harvested by a single-junction solar cell, the solar cell efficiency would increase by 1/3. There has been much academic and industrial interest in developing new materials for singlet fission, but to date no material has proved ideal.

Carotenoids are the most widespread of the natural pigments, important for photosynthesis, vision, human health and industry (market value $1.2bn). Surprisingly, carotenoids also appear to be excellent candidates for singlet fission sensitizers for solar cells: they have strong absorption, fast (<100fs) and loss-free singlet fission and they have the potential for energy-level tuning due the hundreds of naturally available molecules. However, problems remain: the triplet excitons are generally only short-lived in the solvent-based aggregates we have measured to date (90% decay in 1ns), making triplet harvesting difficult. A further problem is that a mechanism for triplet transfer to the solar cell has yet to be demonstrated. Here, we hope to solve these problems by using synthetic carotenoproteins designed to hold the carotenoid in a conformation which prevents triplet-triplet annihilation, allowing triplets to be long-lived. In addition, we propose to use the proteins to aid triplet harvesting through external spin-orbit coupling or energy transfer to a tethered nanoparticle.

We also propose to use these synthetic carotenoproteins as model systems to understand the fundamental energy landscape and dynamics in carotenoids and carotenoid dimers. Carotenoid dimers and aggregates are ubiquitous in nature, but their function is not yet understood. This is mainly due to the experimental and theoretical difficulty in studying them. Here we bring together experts in biochemistry, spectroscopy and theory to study model carotenoproteins with time-resolved spectrosopy and new theoretical models. This combination of resources and expertise provides us with the timely and exciting possibility of really understanding, controlling and exploiting carotenoid-based singlet fission for solar energy harvesting.

Key Findings
This information can now be found on Gateway to Research (GtR) http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk
Potential use in non-academic contexts
This information can now be found on Gateway to Research (GtR) http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk
Description This information can now be found on Gateway to Research (GtR) http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk
Date Materialised
Sectors submitted by the Researcher
This information can now be found on Gateway to Research (GtR) http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk
Project URL:  
Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.shef.ac.uk