Solar energy from organic and nanostructured materials
Organic semiconductors (OSCs) are carbon-based materials which absorb light and transport charge carriers due to their conjugated backbones. OSCs are interesting for opto-electronic applications, such as photovoltaics, light emitting diodes and sensors, because the optica absorption and light emission properties can be tuned simply by varying the chemical structure of the molecule. For large scale device fabrication, organic semiconductors are interesting because they can be processed using low temperature fabrication techniques, e.g. from solution, to form ultra thin functional films. These characteristics are particularly interesting for solar energy applications.
Nanostructured inorganic semiconductors and metals can be combined with organic semiconductors to create new hybrid systems with a greater functionality than the individual components. In our group we study fundamental properties, e.g photoinduced charge transfer and carrier transport, in hybrid systems for solar energy conversion. We are also interested in more applied aspects, such as the reliability and life time of solar cells. We apply optical spectroscopy, electrical characterisation and microscopy to understand these phenomena.
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