Surface Engineering for Solar Cell Packaging Applications

In pursuit of their research goals, VICTER researchers have made the following strides:

  1. Demonstrated the alignment and optical polarization of InGaAs quantum wires on GaAs high index surfaces as an important first step in developing a thermoelectric device that converts heat to electricity.
  2. Synthesized several new photovoltaic materials.
  3. Developed a new family of nitride-ceramic sensitizers that are chemically inert to the harsh reactions in the low-cost solar-cell, for potentially replacing the expensive copper-indium-germanium-selenide cells.
  4. Developed new rechargeable electrode materials with the ion-exchangeable porous or layered crystal-lattices, and are working on highly thermal-stable nanocomposite membrane of Nafion-TiO2-nanofibers, for developing new proton-exchange membrane fuel-cells. 
  5. Began research on connecting devices to the power grid. They have established a base case with a commercially available microinverter for comparing research progress. Initial simulations and new topologies have been investigated for power electronic converters that provide interface to the electric utility grid from multiple dissimilar photovoltaic sources. 
  6. Growth of semiconductor nanocrystals and metallic nanoparticles.
  7. Plasmon-Exciton interaction in nanomaterials and devices.
  8. UAF working with Petra Solar, ABB, APEI, and International Rectifier because of the issues identified for further research. Four concept papers with these companies, three were selected for full proposals that are currently pending.
  9. Colloidal graphene can potentially replace the expensive/vulnerable/reactive quantum dot (QD) in making future low-cost thin-film type of solar cells through the roll-to-roll printing production. Colloidal graphene could be potentially made in bulk quantity at the price only 1 - 5% of QD’s, thus being truly viable to industry and affordable to every single household.