Schuster Colloquium 5th Feb - Professor Jenny Nelson, Imperial College London
On Wednesday 5th February 2014, Professor Jenny Nelson, Imperial College, London spoke on "Molecular Electronic Materials for use in Solar Cells"
The application of molecular semiconductor materials to optoelectronics presents both an opportunity, in terms of the vast range of material properties and applications that can be achieved through chemical synthesis, and a challenge, in relating optoelectronic properties of the resulting devices to the chemical structure and microstructure of the materials. The challenge is complicated by the intrinsic disorder in electronic energy levels, the structural heterogeneity of organic semiconductors and their dielectric properties.
In this seminar, we focus on the application of these materials to photovoltaic energy conversion, where the prospect of low-cost solar panel manufacture using printing or coating has attracted intense interest. We discuss how the molecular nature of the materials influences the processes of light harvesting and photocurrent generation in a solar cell. We show how a range of electronic, spectroscopic and structural measurement techniques, together with molecular and device modelling, can be used to relate the properties of the materials to their performance in solar cells. Finally we address the factors that limit power conversion efficiency in such devices.