Joan van der Waals Colloquium - Elizabeth von Hauff (VU Amsterdam): "A dynamic picture of photovoltaic energy conversion"



16:00-17:00 hrs


De Sitterzaal, Oort Building, Leiden


Organic and hybrid semiconductors offer many advantages for photovoltaic energy conversion. This has motivated intense research into the basic processes that govern fundamental processes in these devices. An increasing number of experimental and theoretical reports show a correlation between phonon modes, charge delocalization, and the separation of photogenerated excitons. In this talk, evidence demonstrating dynamic charge separation in solar cells is discussed more generally in light of recent results from the theory of open quantum systems. These theoretical results point to the need for a self-oscillating internal degree of freedom, acting as a microscopic piston in order to explain how a solar cell behaves as a heat engine, producing an inexhaustible photovoltage and photocurrent under illumination. The dynamic picture of photovoltaic energy conversion opens up new possibilities for the design and development of efficient new energy transducers.