Environmental Durability of Photovoltaic Technologies
21 December 2017
New joint German-French project in physics and materials sciences
In a new joint German-French research project, scientists from Ruperto Carola are investigating what causes photovoltaic materials to degrade in the environment. Junior Professor Dr Yana Vaynzof from the Kirchhoff Institute for Physics and the Centre for Advanced Materials of Heidelberg University is leading the Heidelberg team. The cooperating partners in France are with the Pierre and Marie Curie University in Paris. The German Research Foundation and its French counterpart, the Agence Nationale de la Recherche, are funding the joint project, entitled "The physics of degradation of organic, nanocrystal and hybrid solar cells", with approx. 380,000 euros for a three-year period. The work is scheduled to begin in September 2018.
"Renewable sources of energy like photovoltaic systems based on novel materials can offer sustainable and environmentally friendly solutions for our planet's constantly growing energy needs," explains Prof. Vaynzof. She adds, however, that these technologies are not very durable because their performance degrades markedly when exposed to air and water. "Our joint project aims to understand the degradation mechanisms and develop new strategies for material and systems design, thus extending their lifetimes," explains Yana Vaynzof, Junior Professor of Physical Principles of Organic and Hybrid Electronics at the Kirchhoff Institute for Physics.
Each year, the German Research Foundation and the Agence Nationale de la Recherche accept funding applications for joint projects in the natural, life and engineering sciences. Researchers from one German and one French university are responsible for the project and partner in the research.