Recently a perovskite-based material with exceptional photovoltaic properties has been discovered: CH3NH3PbI3. Energy conversion efficiencies beyond 19% have been reported for solution-processed thin film solar cells based on this perovskite. Within our Renewable Energy Labs at Monash University we have a major research effort (> 10 researchers) focused on elucidating the fundamental working principle of these cells. In one of our recent studies we have developed a novel conformal coating method to produce highly efficient perovskite solar cells (Angewandte Chemie Int. Ed., DOI: 10.1002/anie.201405334, in press). Together with our external partners we are also working towards the development of tandem cell concepts and the large scale deployment of perovskite solar cells. Source: Wiley-VCH, DOI: 10.1002/anie.201405334
Double junction (tandem) solar cells have theoretical energy conversion efficiency limits far beyond those of single junction solar cell. This project aims at the development of double junction dye-sensitized solar cells (DSCs) where conventional dye-sensitized photoanodes (n-type) are combined with dye-sensitized photocathodes (p-type).
To replace a conventional sandwich structure A novel back-contact solar cell architecture has been developed which minimises the production costs, facilitate the series-connection of individual cells to larger modules while also allowing to avoid transmission losses that generally reduce the efficiency of dye-sensitized solar cells by about 15-20%. Both charge collecting electrodes are located on the same substrate in form of an interdigitated microstructure.
Dye-sensitized solar cells (DSCs) based on iodide/triiodide (I-/I3-) electrolytes are viable low-cost alternatives to conventional silicon solar cells, yielding energy conversion efficiencies of up to 11.5 %. Alternative redox mediators have been trialed, but these generally fall short of matching the performance of conventional I-/I3- electrolytes. Source: American Chemical Society, JACS
Together with our partners at the University of Bayreuth, we have developed a new generation of dyes that allows to extend the spectral sensitivity range of TiO2 based DSCs beyond 1,000 nm.
Metal nanoparticles are excellent light absorbers with tunable absorption properties. We have recently shown that such metal nanostructures can convert incident sunlight to charge carriers when place inside a pn-heterojunction. We have also studied the distance-dependent energy transfer rates between chromophores and metal nanoparticles using fluorescence-based techniques.