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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: GR/L10963/01
Title: DESIGN CRITERIA FOR THE SEMICONDUCTOR/SENSITISER INTERFACE IN NOVEL/NANOCRYSTALLINE PHOTOVOLTAIC DEVICES
Principal Investigator: Durrant, Professor JR
Other Investigators:
Klug, Professor DR
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Pre Nexus Migration
Department: Biological Sciences
Organisation: Imperial College London
Scheme: Standard Research (Pre-FEC)
Starts: 01 October 1996 Ends: 31 March 1999 Value (£): 121,025
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Design & Testing Technology Design Engineering
Solar Technology
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Electronics No relevance to Underpinning Sectors
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
It is now possible to fabricate electrochemical photovoltaic devices based upon dye sensitised nanocrystalline TiO2 films. These novel solar cells are already in industrial production, offering the potential for a five fold drop in production costs compared to conventional silicon PV cells. The function of these composite material devices is based upon an interfacial electron transfer reaction from an optically excited dye molecule into the TiO2 thus sensitising this wide bandgap semiconductor to visible light. However, lack of scientific knowledge about the electronic properties of this interface is limiting further technological development. For example, up to a two fold increase in device efficiency could be achieved by the use of sensitiser dyes with increased long wavelength absorption, but extensive empirical trials have as yet failed to identify any suitable alternative dyes. We therefore propose to conduct a systematic study of the dye sensitisation process in these devices, in order to identify those characteristics of the dye/semiconductor interface which are essential for efficient device function, and leading to the development of higher efficiency, electrochemical solar cells. The sensitisation reaction occurs on ultrafast timescales and therefore a key component of this project will be the application of ultrafast spectroscopic techniques to the elucidation of this problem.
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Organisation Website: http://www.imperial.ac.uk