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Global solar spectrum harvesting through highly efficient photovoltaic and thermoelectric integrated cells (GLOBASOL)
Start date: Mar 1, 2013, End date: Feb 29, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

GLOBASOL will develop new concepts, materials and devices for advanced light harvesting and light management for a panchromatic collection of the solar energy and an unprecedented power conversion efficiency. This will be accomplished by integrating in a single device three light-to-electricity converters, exploiting different regions of the solar spectrum based on sensitized mesoscopic solar cells (SMSC), photonic crystals, thermoelectric (TE) cells. The key elements of the project are: 1) new absorbers for SMSC, with a very high conversion efficiency in the UV-vis region; 2) novel photonic materials for the collection/split of the IR spectrum; 3) advanced nanostructured materials for TE conversion of the IR part of the spectrum; 4) radically new architectures for the integrated devices, to increase the total efficiency. The innovative materials will include organometallics, organic dyes and quantum dots as sensitizers, quasi-solid electrolytes, nanostructures and nanowires alloys as well as quantum dots for TE. The devices will be engineered either in tandem arrangements or with optical splitting of the incident radiation, and concentration of the IR fraction to the TE. The targeted power conversion efficiencies are above 15% and 10% for SMSC in high and medium energy spectral regions, respectively, and 6% for TE, to reach a global efficiency above 30%, well beyond the present limits, along with cost-effectiveness and environmental safety. Five Universities and one Research Institution guarantee a scientific and technological multidisciplinary research, based on top level theoretical and experimental approaches. The high degree of knowledge in solid-state physics and chemistry, nanoscience and nanotechnology and engineering of the researchers assures that the new concepts and the objectives proposed will be successfully developed/pursued. A high-tech SME will provide proof-of-concept prototypes to validate the innovative GLOBASOL devices.
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