More energy in the form of sunlight strikes the Earth’s surface every hour than the entire human race uses in six months. This amazingly abundant, clean, and renewable energy source provides the key to meeting our future energy needs, as we only need a small fraction of this resource to supply all the energy requirements necessary to sustain our global civilization.

However, the utilization of this energy supply is still hindered by the high cost solar generated electricity (relative to coal and natural gas). We are currently focused on enabling the use of solar energy by developing innovative low-cost and high-efficiency solar cells. Our effort is multipronged. One approach focuses on the development of new nanocrystal and molecular inks and their use to fabricate ultra low-cost solar cells (see first and second sections below). Another approach focuses on developing novel high-efficiency solar cells based on new cell architectures that utilize quantum dots or quantum wires (see third and fourth sections below). These latter devices have the potential to break the Shockley-Queisser limit. On both fronts, we work with the entire fabrication process, starting with the chemistry to create these exotic nanomaterials and then engineering each step of the process to fabricate, characterize, and model the photovoltaic devices. In addition to these thrusts on solar cells, other efforts from the Hillhouse Group are highlighted below.

Nanocrystal Ink Based CIGS Solar Cells

Descriptions coming...

  1. Guo, Q.J., Kim, S.J., Kar, M., Shafarman, W.N., Birkmire, R.W., Stach, E.A., Agrawal, R., Hillhouse, H.W., “Development of CuInSe2 Nanocrystal and Nanoring Inks for Low-Cost Solar Cells,” Nano Letters 8, 9, 2982-2987 (2008). Link to article

  2. Kar, M., Agrawal, R. & Hillhouse, H.W., “On the Formation Pathway of CuInSe2 Nanocrystals for Solar Cells,” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 133 (43), 17239–17247 (2011). Link to article

  3. Guo, Q., Ford, G. M., Agrawal, R., Hillhouse, H. W., “Ink formulation and low-temperature incorporation of sodium to yield 12% efficient Cu(In,Ga)(S,Se)2 solar cells from sulfide nanocrystal inks.” Progress in Photovoltaics: Research and Applications (2012), Available on-line DOI: 10.1002/pip.2200 (2012). Link to article

Molecular and Nanocrystal Ink Based Earth Abundant Element CZTS Solar Cells

Descriptions coming...

  1. Guo, Q.J., Ford, G.M., Yang, W.C., Walker, B.C., Stach, E.A., Hillhouse, H.W., Agrawal, R., "Fabrication of 7.2% Efficient CZTSSe Solar Cells using CZTS Nanocrystals," J. Am. Chem. Soc. 132, 17384–17386 (2010). Link to article

  2. Ki, W. & Hillhouse, H.W., “Earth Abundant Element Photovoltaics Directly from Soluble Precursors using a Non-Toxic Solvent,” Advanced Energy Materials 1 (5), 732–735 (2011). Link to article

  3. Ford, G.M., Guo, Q., Agrawal, R. & Hillhouse, H.W., “Earth Abundant Element Cu2Zn(Sn1-xGex)S4 Nanocrystals for Tunable Band Gap Solar Cells: 6.8% Efficient Device Fabrication,” Chemistry of Materials 23 (10), 2626–2629 (2011). Link to article

Nanowire Array Solar Cells

Descriptions coming...

  1. Urade, V.N., Wei, T.C., Tate, M.P., Kowalski, J.D., & Hillhouse, H.W., "Nanofabrication of double- gyroid thin films," Chemistry of Materials, 19 (4) 768-777 (2007). Link to article

  2. Khlebnikov, S. & Hillhouse, H.W. “Electronic Structure of Double-Gyroid Nanostructured Semiconductors: Perspectives for Carrier Multiplication Solar Cells,” Phys. Rev. B 80, 115316 (2009). Link to article

  3. McCarthy, R.F., & Hillhouse, H.W., “The Shockley-Queisser Limit and Practical Limits of Nanostructured Photovoltaics,” 38th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference (2012).

Quantum Dot Solar Cells

Descriptions coming...

  1. Hillhouse H.W. & Beard M.C., “Solar Cells from Colloidal Nanocrystals: Fundamentals, Materials, Devices, and Economics,” Current Opinion in Colloid & Interface Science, 14, 245-259 (2009). Link to article

  2. Midgett, A.G., Hillhouse, H.W., Huges, B.K., Nozik, A.J., Beard, M.C., “Flowing versus Static Conditions for Measuring Multiple Exciton Generation in PbSe Quantum Dots,” J. Phys. Chem. C 114 (41), 17486-17500 (2010). Link to article

Nanostructured Thermoelectrics

Descriptions coming...

  1. Hillhouse, H.W. & Tuominen, M., “Modeling the Thermoelectric Transport Properties of Nanowires Embedded in Oriented Microporous and Mesoporous Films,”Microporous and Mesoporous Mater. 47, 39-50 (2001). Link to article

Self-Assembly of Nanostructured Films

Descriptions coming...

  1. Wei, T.C. & Hillhouse, H.W., “Mass Transport and Electrode Accessibility through Periodic Self- Assembled Nanoporous Silica Thin Films” Langmuir 23, 5689-5699 (2007). Link to article

  2. Urade, V.N., Wei, T.C., Tate, M.P., Kowalski, J.D., & Hillhouse, H.W., "Nanofabrication of double- gyroid thin films," Chemistry of Materials, 19 (4) 768-777 (2007). Link to article

  3. Urade, V.N., Bollmann, L., Kowalski, J.D., Tate, M.P., & Hillhouse, H.W., "Controlling Interfacial Curvature in Nanoporous Silica Films Formed by Evaporation-Induced Self-Assembly from Nonionic Surfactants. I. Effect of Processing Parameters on Film Structure," Langmuir, 23 (8) 4268-4278 (2007). Link to article

  4. Bollmann, L., Urade, V.N., & Hillhouse, H.W., "Controlling Interfacial Curvature in Nanoporous Silica Films Formed by Evaporation-Induced Self-Assembly from Nonionic Surfactants. I. Evolution of Nanoscale Structures in Coating Solutions," Langmuir, 23 (8) 4257-4267 (2007). Link to article

  5. Tate, M.P., Urade, V.N., Gaik, S.J., Muzzillo, C.P., Hillhouse, H.W., “How to Dip-Coat or Spin-Coat Nanoporous Double-Gyroid Silica Films with EO19-PO43-EO19 Surfactant (Pluronic P84) and Know it Using a Powder X-ray Diffractometer,” Langmuir26 (6), 4357-4367 (2010). Link to article

Grazing Incidence X-ray Scattering

Descriptions coming...

  1. Tate, M.P., Urade, V.N., Kowalski, J.D., Wei, T.C., Hamilton, B.D., Eggiman, B.W., & Hillhouse, H.W., "Simulation and Interpretation of 2D Diffraction Patterns from Self-Assembled Nanostructured Films at Arbitrary Angles of Incidence: from Grazing Incidence (above the critical angle) to Transmission Perpendicular to the Substrate," Journal of Physical Chemistry B, 110 (20) 9882-9892 (2006). Link to article

  2. Tate, M.P., & Hillhouse, H.W., "General Method for Simulation of 2D GISAXS Intensities for Any Nanostructured Film Using Discrete Fourier Transforms," Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 111 (21) 7645-7654 (2007). Link to article