At Physical Chemistry we perform research on different types of novel solar cells.
We have a strong tradition in research on dye-sensitized solar cells, also known as “Grätzel cells”. These are based on electrodes composed of metal oxide nanoparticles that are sensitized by light absorbing dye molecules. The solar to electricity conversion process in this solar cell bridges many scientific fields of chemistry and physics: we perform research spanning from fundamental light absorption and electron transfer studies to full device characterization and stability tests under realistic working conditions. We also investigate solar cells based on solution-processed perovskite semiconductors and quantum dots, nanometer-sized semiconductor particles.
A wide range of techniques is used to characterize materials and solar cells, to measure all energy levels involved and all processes occurring at illumination. By combining all results we try to unravel the precise mechanisms for the energy conversion, and can find and design new material combinations for more efficient solar cells.