People picture

PhD Students

Ben Wood

Ben Wood

Faculty of Science and Technology, Chemistry

Silicon Photosensitisation Via Attachment of Organic Monolayers and Chromophores

The development of photovoltaics (PV) has been spurred by the drive for production of electrical energy from clean, or low carbon, technologies.

Silicon cells make up over 90% of the world's solar cell production. Due to their poor absorption of sunlight, silicon cells are typically hundreds of micrometers thick. The cells are expensive as they are required to be ultra-pure and the manufacturing process is highly energetically intensive.

We propose a new type of thin-film technology which incorporates the use of organic monolayers and metallic chromophores on the surface of ultra-thin silicon which will reduce the thickness of the cell by two orders of magnitude, therefore decreasing the costs of the substrate.

This project aims to evaluate potential gains of improving the performance of thin-film silicon PVs vs "the bigger picture" of our research - in terms of calculating the additional embodied energy of our substrates, whilst also looking at the sustainability of the materials employed.

For more on Ben's research