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Visible Light Absorbing Ferroelectric Materials for Photovoltaics

Description:

Inventor

Andrew M. Rappe, PhD, Professor of Chemistry and Professor of Materials Science and

Engineering

 

Problem

In the search for new routes to renewable sources of energy, fabrication of higher –

performing, environment-friendly and chemically stable materials is constantly being

pursued. Improving the efficiency of utilizing solar energy, the most abundant energy

source, is expected to require the design of new photovoltaic materials that can absorb

light in the whole UV-visible spectral range. Ferroelectic materials may provide a

promising solution.

  

Solution

Ferroelectrics have been attractive in the area of energy storage as they allow for

coupling of light absorption with other functional properties. Dr. Andrew Rappe’s work

has resulted into a family of single-phase solid oxide solutions that are low-cost, nontoxic,

and most importantly, are able to access a wider range of bandgaps from 1.1 to

3.8 electronvolts. This allows these materials to capture a larger percentage of the solar

spectrum, and suggest they may be a viable alternative to conventional semiconductor

p-n junction solar cells for solar energy conversion.

 

 

Technology Overview

The invention covers the bandgap engineering strategy wherein two different transition-metal

cations located on the perovskite B-site create ferroelectric perovskites with low bandgaps,

with one cation driving ferroelectricity and the other giving a bandgap in the visible range.

The solid solutions were synthesized by standard solid-state synthesis and synchrotron X-ray

diffraction was used to show the formation of a stable perovskite for all the solutions.

 

The study was published in the highly reputed journal Nature and was featured on the cover. 

 

Advantages

Ability to capture solar energy 3 to 6 times more than the current state of the art ferroelectric technology

• Can be fabricated using low-cost methods such as sol-gel thin-film deposition and sputtering

• Use of low cost, abundant materials

 

Stage of Development

state

 

Intellectual Property

United States patent application publication

US 2013-0104969 A1 

 

Reference Media

Nature doi:10.1038/nature12622

 

 

Desired partnerships

• License

Co-development

 

 

Download PDF

 

Docket #  Y6021 


Patent Information:
Category(s):
Materials
For Information, Contact:
Pamela Beatrice
Director, SEAS/SAS Licensing Group
University of Pennsylvania
215-573-4513
beatricp@upenn.edu
Inventors:
Andrew Rappe
Keywords: