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UK funds III-V-on-silicon cell development

EPSRC awards £600,000 for new research for solar cells
Huiyun Liu and Alwyn Seeds from University College of London have been awarded £601,519 from the EPSRC to develop low-cost and high-efficiency III-V quantum-dot (QD) solar cells on silicon substrates.

The research will be in collaboration with Bristol University who will do the modelling and characterisation. The grant in total is worth around £1 million over 42 months.

To help combat climate change, the UK has a target to reduce carbon emissions by 80 percent by 2050.

This is a huge task requiring changes to energy generation and supply. To limit the impact on scarce natural resources and the environment, these reductions need to be delivered by providing affordable green energy.

This research project will address this target by developing high-efficiency and low-cost solar cells by growing III-V compound semiconductor self-organised QD structures on cheap and plentiful silicon substrates.

The researchers aim to exploit the advantages of both QD technology and germanium-on-silicon substrates to develop both multi-junction solar cell and intermediate band solar cell design.

UCL will carry out the epitaxial material growth of III-V on germanium-on-silicon substrates by MBE at the department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, and the device fabrication in the London Centre for Nanotechnology.


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