P1 Nanotechnology for Energy Harvesting
About the Programme
Among the available energy harvesting techniques, and according to the outlook by the International Energy Agency, photovoltaics (PV) is considered as a mainstream technology for the next decade. Solar energy has undergone the largest growth of all renewable energies, being on track to reach the Sustainable Development Scenario level by 2030. Furthermore, future demand for ground-breaking solar technologies looks for easily accessible skin like solar cells adaptable for building integration in smart cities, cars and portable devices.
This programme deals with the design and synthesis of molecular nanostructures and nanomaterials, their spectroscopic characterization, in particular, their time resolved optical response, and their self-assembly at surfaces. The expertise required includes the functionalization of different nanoforms of carbon, namely fullerenes, carbon nanotubes and graphene, metal-organic frameworks, spin-cross over architectures, organometallic compounds and semiconducting quantum dots to be self-organized on surfaces by means of covalent or supramolecular approaches and the implementation of various spectroscopic techniques, including spectroscopy of single molecules. Among the objectives of the Programme in basic science one may cite the characterization (and understanding) of the interaction lightorganic molecules and the properties of (model) solar cells. The practical objective is the use of this information, if possible, for the corresponding optimization of functional organic devices, such as (prototype) organic solar cells, as well as the preparation of a variety of materials for hole and electron transport, respectively, in perovskite- based solar cells.
In the Programme we search for new nanomaterials for the clean, sustainable production and storage of energy, and for the valorisation of waste chemicals, en route to a zero-waste energy cycle. To address this ambitious goal, we will employ a judicious combination of chemical synthesis, advanced time-resolved spectroscopy (see also P5), theory and device fabrication. It is worth noting that all these issues can be addressed from resources and capabilities at IMDEA-Nano and, quite naturally, involve a close collaboration with other strategic research programmes, specifically P2, P5 and P6.
Programme manager: Prof. Nazario Martín.