Springe direkt zu Inhalt

Solar energy conversion: materials to applications

Course format: Online

Language: English

Course / Module description:
This course provides an overview of the various materials and methods for converting solar energy into useful forms of energy. The focus will be on light-absorbing semiconductor materials for two main applied areas: photovoltaic and photoelectrochemical cells. The course will cover basic definitions and requirements for solar energy conversion materials, the photo-physical working mechanisms of various solar energy conversion devices, and their characteristics.

Learning outcomes - On successful completion of this module, students should be able to:

1. Know basic terms in the world of materials and devices for solar energy conversion.
2. Understand physical principles of operation of solar light absorbing semiconductors for solar energy conversion.
3. Get to know different solar energy conversion devices and how they work.
4. Understand ways of characterizing materials and devices for solar energy conversion.
5. To know the challenges involved in applying solar energy conversion technologies.
6. Get to know current issues in materials science and various devices for solar energy conversion.

Course / Module content: 

1. Climate Change, energy & chemical fuels
2. Electrochemistry for energy conversion – basic concepts
3. Artificial photosynthesis concepts – PV+electrolysis, photoelectrochemistry, photocatalysis
4. Semiconductor materials for solar energy conversion
5. Semiconductor-contact (liquid or solid) interfaces – equilibrium junction formation, photoanodes/cathodes, band bending, flat band potential
6. Design rules and criteria of materials for solar energy conversion
7. Photovoltaic and photoelectrochemical devices
8. Characterization of photoelectrodes – voltammetry, solar conversion efficiency, transient analysis, stability
9. Case studies on materials and devices for photovoltaics
10. Case studies on materials and devices for photoelectrochemical water splitting
11. Photoelectrochemistry applications for CO2 reduction, regeneration cells, redox flow batteries
12. Research trends in artificial photosynthesis – a critical look at progress and perspectives for the field

Additionally, in the Seminar component, students will select a topic or research article and present it in a student symposium at the end of the semester.

This is an online course taught jointly by Dr. Matthew Mayer (Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin) and Dr. Ronen Gottesman (The Hebrew University Jerusalem).