Organic and Hybrid Materials and Devices for Solar Fuels, Artificial Photosynthesis, and Photovoltaics (MIB-SOLAR Solar Energy Research Centre)

Present energy needs are classified into two main sectors: a) production of electricity; b) production of reactant and fuels for heat and transportation. We focus our interest on the use of clean sources (sunlight; water) to provide these energy sources, that is a) ARTIFICIAL PHOTOSYNTHESIS; b) PHOTOVOLTAICS. In the MIB-SOLAR lab, containing an ISO7 clean room and state-of-the-art facilities, we investigate materials and devices for artificial photosynthesis and photovoltaics.

Artificial photosynthesis: cleand and renewables solar fuels

We study dyes and catalysts to produce hydrogen and oxygen, also in combination with bio-inspired and bio-mimic materials. Two main approaches are used: a) photocatalysis; b) phoelectrochemical cells (PEC). In particular, we focus our attention on solar induced water splitting in PCE, investigating materials for photoanodes (oxidation of water), photocathodes (reduction of water), and tandem PEC devices (artificial leaf).
Focus is on metal-free, low cost molecular antennas based on earth-abundant materials in order to provide enhanced light harvesting, solar-to-fuel conversion efficiency, and long-term stability.

Organic and Hybrid 3rd Generation Photovoltaics

We investigate last generation organic and hybrid photovoltaics, namely:

  • dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSC)
  • perovskite solar cells (PSC)
  • tandem multijunction cells.

 
Focus is on last generation devices such as graphene-based sensitizers and eco-friendly “drinkable” media.
We also investigate tandem multijunction cells in combination with silicon and thin film inorganic technologies, in order to access higher performances.
A large variety of materials (organic and organometallic dyes, electron and hole transporting materials, electrolytes, semiconductor oxides, electrodes) are investigated as well as lab-scale and pre-industrial photovoltaic panels.

Research Group

Research Lab

Hopp Lab – U5 Building, 2nd Floor, Room 2043
MIBSOLAR Lab – U5 Building, Ground Floor, Room T057-T067

Facilities
  • Fully equipped organic synthesis and characterization laboratory.
  • Spectroscopic (absorption, emission, NMR) characterization.
  • Glove boxes.
  • Clean room for preparation and characterization of photovoltaic cells and modules.
  • Facilities for the preparation and measurement of photocatalytic hydrogen/oxygen production and PEC water splitting