Photovoltaics & the Photon-Multiplier: Stephen Filippone

This talk covers the basic physical principles that govern photovoltaic devices (PVs) as well as the theoretical limitations of their efficiency and will conclude with the fundamentals of singlet fission and photon-multipliers.

Modern photovoltaic devices are reaching the limits of their thermodynamic efficiency, the Shockley-Queisser limit. Singlet fission, the process of splitting one high energy photon into two lower energy photons, is being pursued as a way to get around the limit. If fully implemented in an ideal device, the theoretical efficiency limit increases from 33% to 44%.

"I am working to create a photon-multiplier as a way to integrate singlet fission materials with existing state-of-the-art solar cells. Successful transfer of triplets from organic to inorganic materials has been shown as well as the discovery of materials with singlet fission efficiencies near unity—important steps for their integration with existing technology."

Stephen Filippone is a Gates Scholar and studied Materials Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University working on a wide variety of materials science related questions—from improving the strength of cement, to simulating the fracture of amorphous polymer systems, to creating hybrid organic-inorganic p-n junctions. At Cambridge Stephen is undertaking an MPhil Physics focusing on understanding charge transfer in organic solar cells in an effort to improve their efficiency.

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Presented at Churchill College, 22 January 2015.