Project 6: Nanoparticle Charge Collectors in Next-generation Solar Cells (Prof. Bruce Alphenaar, ECE)

Project Description: In some of the most recently developed solar cells, arrays of tiny nanoparticles are used to capture the charge generated by the sunlight.  Much of the work to improve the solar cells has been directed towards optimizing the electrical and physical properties of the nanoparticles. In this project we will create solar cells using nanoparticle charge collectors.  We will incorporate different types of nanoparticles and nanoparticle combinations to study the influence on solar cell properties.  In particular, we will combine transition metal oxide nanoparticles with rare earth oxide nanoparticles.  These materials have many exciting properties that have the potential to boost solar cell efficiencies.  We will also study new materials to combine with the nanoparticles to allow for better stability, and improved charge collection.

(A) Rare earth incorporation can be used to enhance photocurrent efficiency in both (B) Dye sensitized solar cells and (C) Perovskite solar cells.