The development of improved solar cells that will facilitate the efficient conversion of solar power to electricity, and that can be produced quickly and cheaply, is a major challenge in renewable energy technology. Our group is a member of the Oxford Solar Energy Materials Initiative, and we collaborate with the groups of Dr Andrew Watt and Dr Hazel Assender to develop third generation solar cells that use solution-processed semiconductor materials and that can be fabricated using roll-to-roll printing methods. Work in the PNG lab focuses on inorganic semiconductor nanocrystal-based cells, and the use of plasmonics for effective light management.

NC synthesis
Fig.1 Apparatus for solution processing of semiconductor nanocrystals for solar cells.

Recent publications and presentations

A. W. Powell, N. Hjerrild, A. A. R. Watt, H. E. Assender and J. M. Smith, Directional plasmonic scattering from metal nanoparticles in thin-film environments, Appl. Phys. Lett. 104, 081110 (2014).

A. W. Powell, M. B. Wincott, A. A. R. Watt, H. E. Assender, and J. M. Smith, Controlling the optical scattering of plasmonic nanoparticles using a thin dielectric layer, J. Appl. Phys. 113, 184311 (2013).

C. A. Cattley, C. Cheng, S. M. Fairclough, L. M. Droessler, N. P. Young, J. H. Warner, J. M. Smith, H. E. Assender, and A. A. R. Watt, Low temperature phase selective synthesis of Cu2ZnSSnS4 quantum dots, Chem. Comm. 49, 3745 (2013).

A. Stavrinadis, J. M. Smith, C. A. Cattley, A. G. Cook, P. S. Grant, and A. A. R. Watt, SnS/PbS nanocrystal heterojunction photovoltaics, Nanotechnology 21, 185202 (2010).

R. M. Beal, A. Stavrinadis, J. H. Warner, J. M. Smith, H. E. Assender, and A. A. R. Watt, The molecular structure of polymer-fullerene composite solar cells and its influence on device performance, Macromolecules 43, p.2343 (2010).

C. A. Cattley, A. Stavrinadis, R. Beal, J. Moghal, A. G. Cook, P. S. Grant, J. M. Smith, H. E. Assender, and A. A. R. Watt, Colloidal synthesis of lead oxide nanocrystals for photovoltaics, Chem. Comm. 46, p.2802 (2010).

A. Stavrinadis, S. Xu, J. H. Warner, J. L. Hutchison, J. M. Smith and A. A. R. Watt, Superstructures of PbS nanocrystals in a conjugated polymer and the aligning role of oxidation, Nanotechnology 20, #445608 (2009).

D. J. Keeble, E. A. Thomsen, A. Stavrinadis, I. D.W. Samuel, J. M. Smith, and A. A. R. Watt, Paramagnetic point defects and charge carriers in PbS and CdS nanocrystal polymer composites, J. Phys. Chem. C 113, p.17306 (2009).

A. Stavrinadis, R. Beal, J. M. Smith, H. E. Assender, and A. A. R. Watt, Direct formation of PbS nanorods in a conjugated polymer, Advanced Materials 20, p3105 (2008).