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  Photovoltaic Materials and Devices
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Photovoltaics (PV) is a method of generating electrical power by converting solar radiation into direct current electricity using semiconductors that exhibit the photovoltaic effect. As one of most promising solutions for the energy crisis and environmental issues, the endlessness and zero carbon emissions of photovoltaic technology plays a critical role on both fundamental research and applied technology. Since it is based on series of complex surface and interface reactions, PV technology is a huge system involving a crossing field of condensed physics, chemical synthesis and material science. Scientists at the Shanghai Institute of Ceramics (SIC), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), made great achievements in developing several high performance PV materials, which are mostly focusing on chalcogenide thin film PV cells. The Laboratory of Photovoltaic Materials and Devices (LPMD) at SIC was hence established in 2003, which was consecutively ranked in this famous institute as the Most Improved and the Top Team during the latest three years. The high efficiency record (16.3%) of the solution-route fabricated CIGS thin film solar cell was proven to be in one of the world-leading places for non-vacuum CIGS cells.

With the cutting-edge nano-material and thin film technology, research at LPMD primarily covers fundamental research and applied technology of frontier PV materials and devices. Current research projects include searching for the relationship between the structure and function from atom level of materials, designing novel energy conversion materials, synthesizing low cost copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS) thin film PV devices with independent intellectual property. Currently, LPMD has eight research groups that are focused on: 1) high-efficient CIGS thin film cells; 2) new concept of nano-structure PV materials and devices; 3) high-performance p-type and n-type transparent conducting films; 3) broadband antireflection coatings; 4) high-performance photocatalytic materials; 5) preparation of high quality Graphene and its application in PV devices; 6) novel phosphors for light emitting diodes (LED); 7) Lithium battery electrode materials & solid-state electrolytes; 8) novel Fe-based superconductor materials.

As the outstanding performance in these fields, LPMD is now conducting several important research projects proposed by CAS, Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) of China, and National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC). With the help of these funds, the whole system for synthesis and testing of PV materials and devices has been built up. Several advanced synthesis technologies, including magnetron sputtering, spin coating, chemical vapor deposition (CVD), solid state reaction and other chemical synthesis methods, are applied to obtain high quality film or crystal samples in our lab. Our lab owns most of significant testing systems for PV materials and devices, including photoelectric conversion efficiency test system with solar simulator, X-ray Diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscope (SEM), NIR-UV-Vis diffuse reflectance spectra (DRS), etc. With substantial improvements in experimental facilities, LPMD is attaining considerable level. The device efficiency of CIGS cell achieves stable high values in our lab, which is 16.3%. The transparent conducting properties of n-type ZnO:Al (0.66 Ω/sq, 88% transparent in 350–1100 nm) and p-type CuxS ( >103 S/cm) exceed the respective reported data in the literature. Many important results have been published in top scientific journals such as Nature Commu., Nature Mater., J. Am. Chem. Soc., Adv. Mater., Adv. Funct. Mater., Energy & Environ. Sci., etc. More than 100 Chinese patents including 17 foreign patents have been filed in this lab. Several advanced technologies developed are transferred to industries now.

LPMD also attaches high importance to the recruiting and training of talents as well as team construction. Now, Professor Huang, “National Science Fund for Distinguished Young Scholars” is leading this excellent and structure optimized group. Furthermore, many young researchers and graduate students, who are full of innovative ideas and strong motivations, are now working at the forefront and have won several awards of CAS Dean’s Research Fellowship, Yandongsheng special fellowship, Excellent Graduate of CAS, etc. Now, LPMD is dedicated to refining research projects, initiating more innovative researches and training more talents. It is aimed at building a world class lab and achieving more momentous scientific breakthroughs.

Address: 1295 Dingxi Road, Shanghai 200050, P.R.China
Tel: +86-21-52411620
Fax: +86-21-52416360
E-mail: huangfq@mail.sic.ac.cn

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