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Solar Energy

In this Section

Points of Contact:

Solar Photovoltaics: Dr. Devon Shipp, Department of Chemistry and Biomolecular Science

Solar Thermal: Dr. Douglas Bohl, MAE Department

While silicon-based photovoltaic (PV) devices have been the most widely used to date, their cost has led to significant interest in organic and organic-inorganic hybrid materials for use in PV devices. Such materials include various conducting polymers, quantum dots and semiconducting oxides, all of which have great potential for application in photo- and electrochemical devices (e.g. solar cells, sensors). In particular, PV systems based on materials that have well-ordered nanoscale features are highly sought after because they may increase efficiency through both improved charge separation and reduced excitation (positive and negative charge pairs) recombination. Current work is centered on creating potential low-cost, large-area PV devices through the use of well-ordered polymer nanocomposites. This should improve efficiency and enable devices that will be very think and can be printed onto flexible substrates. Work through Clarkson's Center for Advanced Materials Processing, collaborations with RPI and Corning Inc. and support from NYSERDA are helping to facilitate the work.