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.
Bottom-Up Novel Hybrid Nanostructures for Solar Energy Harvesting
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.