A new generation of cheaper, lighter, printed solar cells could soon be a reality thanks to a $5 million grant from the Victoria’s Science Agenda Strategic Project Fund awarded to Professor Andrew Holmes, Dr David Jones and Professor Ken Ghiggino.
Researchers from the University of Melbourne, CSIRO and Monash University, have teamed up with industry partners including BlueScope Steel, Securency International, Innovia Films and Robert Bosch South East Asia to form the Victorian Organic Solar Cell Consortium (VICOSC). The $5 million grant is matched by a cash investment of $5 million from the consortium partners for a total project value of $10 million.
Dr Tae-Hyuk Kwon has developed a high performance organic dye-sensitized solar cell dye (Carbz-PAHTDTT), which when coupled with an eco-friendly ferrocene electrolyte achieved over 7.5% photo conversion efficiency (PCE). This wonderful result, carried out in collaboration with Monash University, Prof Leone and Dr Udo, has been published in Nature Chemistry (Nat. Chem. 2011. 03, 211). In addition, while the ferrocene electrolyte gave a PCE of over 7.5% the traditional iodine electrolyte gave only 6.1% PCE. This is the first time that an alternative electrolyte system has been reported to give a better performance than the standard iodine electrolyte. In addition, Prof. Michael Elliott from Colorado State Univ, USA has valued it as a new breakthrough in dye-sensitized solar cell area (Nat. Chem. 2011, 03, 188).
Congratulations to Dr Wallace Wong from the Holmes lab who has been awarded a prestigious post-doctoral fellowship from the Australian Solar Institute (ASI). The ASI is a $150 M commitment by the Australian Government to support the development of photovoltaic and solar thermal technologies in Australia.
Dr Gary Leeke from the University of Birmingham joins the group as a visitor for two weeks to work on continuous flow reactions in supercritical carbon dioxide.
Professor Andrew Holmes has been successful in attracting funding for an ARC Linkage International Materials World Proposal in collaboration with Professor Chris Ober and Professor George Malliaras from Cornell University.
Nick Evans’ work on the synthesis of electrophosphorescent polymers appears in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.
Sven Webber joins the group on exchange for 4 weeks from the group of Professor Ullrich Scherf in Wuppertal, Germany.
Georgia McCluskey has been awarded a Faculty of Science Prize for her 2005 honours thesis.
Professor Andrew Holmes has been elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science.
Honours students Rob Borthwick, Aedan Cosgriff, Michelle Haeusler and Brian Johnson join the group.