New generation of organic based photovoltaic devices

Grant Agency
European Commission
Electrochemical conversion and accumulation of energy.
Year from
Year to
Solar energy conversion based on organic materials is an emerging research field with substantial future prospects. A broad range of distinct device technologies are currently being developed, including dye-sensitized nanocrystalline solar cells, polymer/fullerene blends, small molecule thin films and hybrid polymer/nanocrystal devices. Several European groups have already established themselves as world leaders in this field with for example world record efficiencies for both dye-sensitized and polymer/fullerene devices currently being held by research groups in Lausanne and Linz respectively. Major nationally based research programmes are under way with extensive European industrial investment.

At present the field is developing diversely across Europe, with different national programmes tending to focus on different technologies. In particular, the two largest communities in this field, namely dye-sensitized nanocrystalline devices and polymer-based devices have to date developed and functioned largely independently with few overlaps. This division is, however, becoming an increasing critical barrier to development of the field, with scientific progress increasingly being made in device concepts which lie at the intersection of these two research communities – for example in solid state dye-sensitized solar cells employing organic hole conductors and in hybrid polymer / nanocrystal devices which combine the nanometer scale structural control achieved by the use of inorganic nanocrystals with the ease of processing inherent in the use of organic optoelectronic materials.

It is the intention of this proposed network to bring together these diverse research programmes across Europe, leading to the development of a cohesive pan-European research community targeting the development of innovative, low cost, organic based photovoltaic cells. This program will necessarily be positioned at the intersection between solid-state physics, chemistry, and materials science.

A strong interdisciplinary approach is essential with a high degree of interaction. The synergy of the know-how present in the various research groups, all with strong international reputation in their subfields, concerning i.e. design and synthesis of novel polymer materials with as well donor as acceptor properties, nano-particules, solid electrolytes, the expertise in analytical, electrical and optical characterisation techniques, modelling and device up-scaling technology will ensure a more rapid progress and create the appropriate circumstances for breakthroughs in this fundamentally important research domain.

Through scientific meetings (workshops, international conferences) organized by the Steering Committee, the proposed network will implement more coherent national and European research activities in the field of organic based solar cells and will allow closer relations between the various already existing organizations of scientific and technological cooperation in the two largest organic solar cell communities in Western and Eastern Europe. The proposed network will also promote a greater European cohesion in this research field based on the best experiences of knowledge transfer at European levels

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prof. RNDr. Kavan Ladislav CSc., DSc.

+420 26605 3975