In the first in our CHUtalks series for 2015, Gates scholar and Churchill MCR student—Stephen Filippone, covers the basic physical principles that govern photovoltaic devices (PVs) and investigates the theoretical limitations of their efficiency.

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

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.

Discover more videos from our latest academic seminar series—CHUtalks:

Discover CHUtalks

The full series of SCR & MCR Academic talks will be available online, for more information and to attend please see the events Calendar.

SCR & MCR Academic Talks