The project involves the design and development of a spectral conversion layer that increases the efficiency of solar cells.
– One of the major limitations of current solar cells is that a large part of the solar energy is lost because the material can’t capture the entire solar spectrum. I'm working on producing a frequency conversion layer based on rare earths ions. The layer conversion properties are enhanced by the presence of metal nanoparticles and nano-antennas, says Dr. Francesco Enrichi.
The research at Experimental Physics is led by Chair Professor Alberto Vomiero and has recently received much attention for the research on photovoltaics. Now the research group strengthens its expertise by recruiting physicist Dr. Francesco Enrichi who has extensive experience in the preparation and characterization of optical materials.
– These new solar cells become more efficient when frequencies of the solar spectrum that today's solar cells have a difficult time to absorb instead can be absorbed to the maximum. The conversion layer can be placed in the top or bottom of the solar cell and easily be integrated into the production process.
In addition to achieving progress in the research on solar cells, another aim of the project is to create a long-term cooperation in the field of solar energy between Luleå University of Technology, Chalmers University of Technology, the research institute Centro Fermi in Rome (Italy) and the University Ca 'Foscari in Venice (Italy).
– Renewable energy sources are inexhaustible, widely available all over the planet and relatively inexpensive. Moreover, the environmental impact is minimal. Therefore, major efforts are being made, not least in research, to increase the share of renewable energy. Solar energy has great potential and is a renewable energy source that is on the rise globally, says Francesco Enrichi.