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Plasmonics for high efficiency solar cells

  • $1.57m

    ARENA Funding

  • $5.84m

    Total Project Value

  • Project basics

    Lead Organisation

    Australian National University

    Start Date

    Aug 2010

    Project Partners

    University of NSW, IMEC (Belgium), Imperial College (UK), Chalmers University (Sweden), Photovoltech (Belgium), QantaSol (UK)

    Location

    Australian Capital Territory

    Status

    Past

Project Basics

Lead Organisation

Australian National University

Start Date

Aug 2010

Project Partners

University of NSW, IMEC (Belgium), Imperial College (UK), Chalmers University (Sweden), Photovoltech (Belgium), QantaSol (UK)

Location

Australian Capital Territory

Status

Past

The project aimed to commercialise a new way of increasing light absorption in solar cells using a technology called ‘plasmonics’.

Need

Reducing the cost of solar cells will increase their use by Australians to generate electricity.

Project innovation

The project aimed to commercialise a new way of increasing light absorption in solar cells using a technology called ‘plasmonics’.

Researchers used nanoparticles devices so small that 50 of them could fit on the width of a human hair to develop solar cells that generate more electrical current than traditional thin-film solar cells.

In a plasmonic solar cell nanoscale metal particles on the surface of the solar cell act like tiny antennas, collecting the solar radiation and directing it into the solar cell.

A diverse team of experts in plasmonics and solar cell technology were involved in the project and identified the most effective plasmonic structures, fabrication techniques and solar cell integration for a number of important solar cell technologies. This resulted in the production of a map of opportunities for the use of plasmonic solar cells.

The Australian researchers involved in thed project had already demonstrated that plasmonic solar cells can lead to a substantial increase in solar cell output.

Benefit

This technology offers a promising method of increasing efficiencies and reducing costs in thin solar cells, which makes up the most rapidly growing section of the solar cell market.

More information

Contact information

Dr Kylie Catchpole, Lead Investigator, Centre for Sustainable Energy Systems, ANU College of Engineering and Computer Science

+61 2 6125 0874

kylie.catchpole@anu.edu.au