Materials Science and Engineering Seminar Series: Shenqiang Ren

Friday, April 15, 2011
1:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m.
Room 2108, Chemical and Nuclear Engineering Bldg.
JoAnne Kagle

Bottom-Up Novel Hybrid Nanostructures for Solar Energy Harvesting

Shenqiang Ren
Department of Materials Science and Engineering
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Nanostructured materials – including atomic clusters, quantum dots, nanowires or nanotubes – have dimensions in the range of 1 to 100 nm, the length scale that offers size-tunable and unique properties. They provide solutions to some of the current challenges in solar cells – Power from the Sun – that contribute to our future energy needs, and would potentially lead to high efficiency solar cells at low cost. A challenging task in this area is to manipulate nanostructured materials and assemble them into desired structural forms – one, two or three-dimensional structures – so that their unique photoelectric properties can be harvested. Among the bottom-up strategies, self-assembly of nanostructured materials and organic conjugated polymers provides a promising route to precise control of nanomorphology and build-up of complex systems for solar electricity production.

In this talk, I will discuss my research on rational design of self-assembling nanostructured photovoltaic systems combined with the development of “synthetic” strategies. Specifically, I will focus on three main topics: (a) bridging quantum dots and conjugated polymer nanowires for efficient (>4%) hybrid solar cells; the data provides a unique new insight into the operation of hybrid bulk heterojunction solar cells and provides directions to further improvements; (b) drying mediated self-assembly of inorganic nanowire hybrid solar cell; prospects for further enhancement will be discussed; (c) self-assembly of all conjugated block copolymers combined with metal oxide. The key aim of this study is to develop a better understanding of the parameters that control such interfacial charge transfer processes. Another critical aim of this work is to develop quantitative structure-function relationships that can be used to guide the design and development of efficient nanostructured organic-inorganic hybrid solar cells.

Audience: Graduate  Faculty  Post-Docs 

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