Nanostructured Photosystems for the Generation of Electricity and Fuels from Sunlight
By Professor Michael Grätzel, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, EPFL
Learning from the concepts used by green plants photosynthesis, we have developed nanostructured systems affording efficient solar light harvesting and conversion to electricity and fuels. Solar cells using dyes or semiconducting nano-particles as light harvesters supported by mesoscopic oxide films have emerged as credible contenders to conventional p-n junction photovoltaic devices. Separating light absorption from charge carrier transport dye sensitized mesoscopic solar cells (DSCs) were the first to use a three-dimensional nanocrystalline junction for solar electricity production. The standard AM 1.5 solar to electric power conversion efficiency (PCE) has reached 12.9% for laboratory cells and 9.9 % for PV modules. PCEs over 25 % are attained under ambient and indoor light conditions. These features along with excellent long-term stability have fostered first commercial applications, the industrial production of DSC’s attaining presently the multi MW/year scale. Striking advances in the direct generation of fuels such as hydrogen from water and sunlight have been achieved by the judicious design of photosystems composed of nanostructured Fe2O3 or Cu2O.
CV of Professor Michael Grätzel
Professor at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne Michael Grätzel directs there the Laboratory of Photonics and Interfaces. He pioneered the use of mesoscopic materials in photovoltaic cells, and photo-electrochemical devices for the splitting of water into hydrogen and oxygen by sunlight. He discovered a new type of solar cell based on dye sensitized nanocrystalline oxide films. His recent awards include the Albert Einstein World Award of Science, the Paul Karrer Gold Medal, the Balzan Prize and the 2010 Millenium Technology Grand Prize. He received a doctoral degree in Natural Science from the Technical University Berlin and was awarded eight honorary doctor’s degrees.
The lecture will be broadcastet on a giant screen in DTU Library.
About Michaël Grätzel