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Energy Conversion Devices

The field of Energy Conversion Devices is facing a huge growth thanks to the increasing interest towards renewable energies, due to the need at the worldwide level to reduce carbon emission for energy production. Photovoltaics in particular is a major technology for energy harvesting, to power novel generation of silicon microsystems, systems on chip (SoC) and systems in package (SiP) devices. So far PV for small to medium scale energy production has been sustained at a global political levels by introducing large incentives for private PV system installations sustained by the governments (in Japan, Germany, Spain, US, France, Italy, etc.), to nucleate a large industry and enlarge the acceptance of PV for citizens as a viable way to satisfy their energy needs. But in the long run PV needs to become economically viable (i.e., to reach the “grid-parity”, initially at the retail price and finally at the energy producer costs). To reach such goal, major technology breakthroughs are necessary, and a very large research community is working in this direction. The dominant PV technology is silicon based, and we believe that silicon will remain the dominant material for large scale PV energy production, being non-polluting, easily available, and a very strong covalent material (necessary for PV module reliability). Our work is performed in many cases in strict collaboration with companies but with focus on novel approaches with strong potential for industrial application. The major areas of work at IMM are below reported. Further information on such topics can be reported by directly clicking at the links below.

 

Coordinator: Lombardo Salvatore

Nano-fluids for applications in Thermodynamic Solar Power Plants.

 

In the last years the interest in the use of nanofluids in solar energy systems has grown very quickly. In particular the developments in Concentrated Solar Power (CSP...

Nano-Rectenna for high Efficiency Direct Conversion of Sunlight to Electricity

 

The activity is focussed on the design and the fabrication of an innovative device to directly convert solar energy into electrical power based on optical rectified nano-rectenna.

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InAs/GaAs and InAlGaAs/AlGaAs Quantum Dots Intermediate Band Solar Cells (IBSC).

 

Intermediate Band Solar Cells (IBSC) are an innovative concept of photovoltaic system with a theoretically predicted increased efficiency with respect to the Schockley-...

Third Generation Solar Cells based on core/shell III-V and II-VI semiconductor nanowires

1) Hetero- and nano-structures based on III-V (GaAs/AlGaAs) and II-VI (CdTe) semiconductors, such as nano-islands and dense vertical arrays of nanowires grown by self-assembly...

Efficient thermal energy conversion by high vacuum flat panels

The world energy needs are increasing in all fields. Electrical energy is one of the most diffuse types of energy and it is often used to satisfy the residential and industrial...

Nanostructured silicon-based p-i-n devices

 

Light trapping in thin film solar cells is crucial to safely reduce the thickness of the absorber, and hence the fabrication time and the usage of raw materials. At the same time, the use...

Graphene-based materials for energy conversion and storage

 

The research activity focuses on two types of materials. On one side, the capabilities of functional nanoparticles and quantum dots integration with...

Hybrid architectures for Dye and Perovskite Solar Cells

Dye (DSC) and Perovskite (PSC) solar cells are revolutionizing views and perspectives in the photovoltaics field so that their efficiency has been raised up to ~22% in only 8 years since the first...

Metallic nanostructures and metallic-based nanocomposites for energy conversion devices

The interest in assembling metal nanoparticles (NPs) onto conductive transparent substrates, as fluorine doped-tin-oxide (SnO2:F, FTO), has increased as the resulting interfaces show interesting...

Si and Ge Nanostructures for photovoltaics

The aim of this activity is the synthesis and characterization of Si and Ge nanostructures, mainly quantum dots, immersed in dielectric Si-based thin film matrixes (e.g. Si oxides and nitrides)....

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