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Photovoltaics & Photocatalysis

Global Challenges

Developing clean energy to meet increasing global demands for energy

Research Specialisms

Development of novel materials for photovoltaics & photocatalysis is being conducted in the Semiconductor Physics and Nanostructures Group based in the Department of Physics.

Application

Developing clean energy techniques for the energy industry

Photoelectrolysis to generate natural gasses for fuel

The direct production of electricity from sunlight using photovoltaics is a very appealing form of clean energy. However, a major problem is that electrical energy cannot easily be stored, requiring the expensive balancing of production with consumption. An alternative approach is the production of hydrogen from sunlight using photoelectrolysis (water splitting). Hydrogen is easily stored, can be burnt in the same way as natural gas and used to generate electricity on demand, either thermally or in a fuel cell.

Quantum dot solar cells

The development of efficient and affordable solar cells for clean energy production is a major global challenge and in this project we are seeking to achieve a breakthrough in the fabrication of novel quantum dot materials capable of substantially improving the performance of III-V concentrator solar cells.

Low bandgap thermo-photovoltaic cells

We are developing thermo-photovoltaic (TPV) cells for electricity generation from radiant waste heat to provide energy savings and reduction in CO2 emissions.