Solar Cells & Solar Fuels

Several research groups within the Centre for Plastic Electronics investigate different methods for solar energy conversion, both from light to electricity (photovoltaics) and light to fuels (solar fuels/artificial photosynthesis).  

Several different types of solar cell technologies are researched within the CPE. These include organic photovoltaics (OPV), dye sensitised solar cells (DSCs), hybrid inorganic-organic solar cells, and organohalide lead perovskite solar cells.  Different groups work on different aspects of this research, such as synthesis and characterisation of dyes and conductive molecules and polymers; characterisation of device components; modelling of molecules and device design, and device fabrication and testing.   

Solar fuels (also known as artificial photosynthesis) technologies store the sun's energy in chemical bonds, by using sunlight to drive chemical reactions to make fuels. The simplest way of doing this is to split water (H2O) into hydrogen (H2, a fuel) and oxygen. This can be combined with more complex CO2 reduction chemistry to make carbon-containing fuels such as ethanol. Find out more about UK solar fuels research on the Solar Fuels Network website.