University of Minnesota Duluth
University of Minnesota Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
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Friday, November 21, 2014; 3:00 p.m.; LSci 175


Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry Welcomes:

Dr. Zhihua Xu

Assistant Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Minnesota Duluth



“Solution-Processed Light Harvesting Materials for Solar Cells”

As a clean and abundant energy resource, solar energy is one of the best renewable alternatives to fossil fuels. Currently the leading photovoltaic (PV) technology uses crystalline silicon as the light-harvesting material. But the high temperature required for crystalline silicon production makes it an extremely energy-intensive and expensive process, and thus significantly weakens the competitiveness of solar energy in energy market. Solution-processed photovoltaics such as Dye-sensitized solar cells (DSCs) and perovskite solar cells (PSCs) adopt room-temperature and solution-based fabrication procedure, which is much less energy-intensive and more cost-effective. In this talk, two research works on light-harvesting materials for DSCs and PSCs will be presented. The first work studed the energy transfer in a series of porphyrin/quantum dot complexes which were designed to enhance light absorption of DSCs, and it was found that energy transfer efficiency increases with quantum dots size due to suppressed nonradiative quenching. In the second work, we investigated the optical properties of an organometal halide perovskite under two different solar cell structures, namely mesoporous and planar structure. We found that the organometal halide/titanium oxide interfaces have significant effects on film morphology, crystal structure, and power conversion efficiency of perovskite solar cells.