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Projects: Projects for Investigator
Reference Number EP/F016433/1
Title Optimising polymer photovoltaic devices through control of phase-separation
Status Completed
Energy Categories Renewable Energy Sources(Solar Energy, Photovoltaics) 100%;
Research Types Basic and strategic applied research 100%
Science and Technology Fields PHYSICAL SCIENCES AND MATHEMATICS (Chemistry) 66%;
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Not Cross-cutting 100%
Principal Investigator Professor DG Lidzey
No email address given
Physics and Astronomy
University of Sheffield
Award Type Standard
Funding Source EPSRC
Start Date 01 January 2008
End Date 30 September 2011
Duration 45 months
Total Grant Value £692,775
Industrial Sectors Electronics; Energy
Region Yorkshire & Humberside
Programme Materials, Mechanical and Medical Eng, Physical Sciences
Investigators Principal Investigator Professor DG Lidzey , Physics and Astronomy, University of Sheffield (99.998%)
  Other Investigator Professor R Jones , Physics and Astronomy, University of Sheffield (0.001%)
Professor A Ryan , Physics and Astronomy, University of Sheffield (0.001%)
Web Site
Abstract In principle, photovoltaic devices could meet all our energy requirements in a sustainable way, but at the moment the capital expense of conventional photovoltaics is too great to be competitive, and the volume in which they can be produced is much too small to make a serious dent in our electricity generating needs. Their relatively high manufacturing cost and the difficulty of scaling the manufacturing process is an intrinsic feature of their energy-intensive fabrication process. In contrast, non-conventional PVs based on organic semiconductors can be processed from solution using high-volume roll-to-roll printing technologies, offering the possibility of large area devices being fabricated on flexible substrates at very low cost. Unfortunately at present, organic PV devices are characterized by prohibitively low external power efficiencies (< 6%). Closing the gap in efficiency between organic and inorganic PV devices is a significant challenge / one which will requirea full microscopic understanding of the processes that currently limit organic PV efficiency. The most promising organic PV devices are currently based on solution-cast blends of conjugated polymers doped with fullerene derivatives. Relatively little is however known regarding the role of the self-assembled nanoscale morphology of such systems on their operational efficiency. In this proposal, we seek to develop a comprehensive mechanistic understanding of the self-assembly processes by whichnanoscale structure arises within such PV applicable materials. In particular we propose to study the evolution of nanoscale phase-separation during film casting using X-ray scattering. We will also utilize a range of complementary microscopy techniques ranging from environmental scanning electron microscopy, to time-resolved near field microscopy. The combination of such techniques will permit us to develop a complete picture of film structure from molecular to microscopic length-scales. Ourproposed project draws together some of the UK's leading polymer scientists and technologists, with our goal being to significantly advance the understanding of the processes that limit organic PV device performance
Publications (none)
Final Report (none)
Added to Database 05/09/07