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  • Spanish University Wins Nanotech PV Project
Apr 2010
CASTELLÓ, Spain, April 22, 2010 — After responding to a call for proposals, a research group led by Juan Bisquert at Universitat Jaume I of Castelló has won the bid for a scientific and technological research project on new types of solar cells based on nanotechnologies.

Solar cells based on nanotechnologies.

The project, titled “Células solares nanodiseñadas de bajo coste basadas en nanocristales semiconductores” (“Low-cost nanodesigned solar cells based on semiconductor nanocrystals”) will be funded with a three-year, €25,000 ($33,500) grant from the Ministry of Science and Innovation. The project is to be carried out as part of the Spanish National R&D Internationalisation Programme included within the Spanish Plan to Boost the Economy and Employment, Plan E. Its main aim is to further cooperation between Spain and Japan in the field of nanotechnology. The project will develop materials that promote sustainable development and improve energy efficiency in production, storage, transport and renewable energy conversion.
The research group at Universitat Jaume I will pay special attention to scientific knowledge of new materials and nanocompounds that can contribute to photovoltaic conversion. The new solar cells, based on quantum dots, are considered of particular interest. Quantum dots are semiconductors that are so small that they have a marked effect on the wave properties of matter, which means that the optical and electronic properties can be easily modified just by adjusting the size of particles. At present, luminescence of quantum dots is used as a cell marker in biotechnology.

The project will investigate the application of nanocrystals to efficiently converting light into electricity, which requires integrating them within suitable structures so that solid, durable devices can be produced. This is an essential condition for transferring the results to industry. The project is based on research carried out by Iván Mora Seró, from the Bisquert group, in collaboration with a group led by Taro Toyoda in Japan. This collaborative research has already given rise to a joint study on the properties of solar cells based on quantum dots.

A total of 61 proposals from leading Spanish nanotechnology research centers were submitted. Altogether eight projects will be funded.

Besides the UJI, the Technical University of Madrid, the University of Alicante, the University of Castilla La Mancha and several laboratories belonging to the Spanish Council for Scientific Investigations will also carry out projects.

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The use of atoms, molecules and molecular-scale structures to enhance existing technology and develop new materials and devices. The goal of this technology is to manipulate atomic and molecular particles to create devices that are thousands of times smaller and faster than those of the current microtechnologies.
Pertaining to optics and the phenomena of light.
quantum dots
Also known as QDs. Nanocrystals of semiconductor materials that fluoresce when excited by external light sources, primarily in narrow visible and near-infrared regions; they are commonly used as alternatives to organic dyes.  
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