Conducting polymers and carbon nanostructures for solar energy

Aula B. Touschek (Laboratori Nazionali di Frascati, Via Enrico Fermi 40, Frascati)

Aula B. Touschek

Laboratori Nazionali di Frascati, Via Enrico Fermi 40, Frascati

Via Enrico Fermi 40 00044 Frascati

Conventional solar cells based on Si are still expensive; their production requires high temperature and a large amount of energy, causing environmental concerns for their extensive application to solve the global energy crisis. The discovery of fullerene [1] and conducting polymers at the end of last century[2], opened a new avenue, offering the possibility to create solar cells by using simple and environmentally friendly chemical processes. Solar cells based on polymer-fullerene mixtures (bulk-heterojunction) recently achieved more than 8% efficiency, sparking enthusiasm all over the world, but several hurdles still limit a widespread application of this technology. In this seminar I will introduce the basic concepts of the bulk heterojunction and I will present the results recently obtained by our group [3-5] in the microscopic investigation of polymer wrapping on carbon nanotubes, which suggest the way to improve the efficiency of these devices.

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