Novel device engineering strategies for highly efficient ultra-low-cost solar photovoltaics
Dr. George Kakavelakis (École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne - EPFL)
Among the different energy sources, photovoltaics (PV) hold the promise for clean energy generation to cover our needs and solve the climate and energy crisis due to their safe, renewable and inexhaustible character. However, solar technology-based sources have been providing only ~3% of all the energy produced worldwide by the end of year 2021. Thus, this is a clear message that alternative approaches to improve the competitiveness of PVs compared to the conventional energy sources are of high priority. There is significant interest in the use of solution processed perovskite solar cells (PSCs) due to their high certified power conversion efficiencies (PCEs), and their compatibility with large scale, high throughput fabrication processes (ink-jet printing, slot-die coating, doctor blading, etc). However, for the commercialization of PSCs, their long-term stability should match with the commercial PV standards accompanied with a lower production cost, exploiting high-throughput fabrication processes to cover the rapidly growing energy demands. In this talk, I will discuss how novel interfacial and compositional device engineering strategies on perovskite solar cells can result in highly efficient and stable photovoltaic devices with a manufacturing cost that is below that of traditional energy sources. Furthermore, possible next-generation strategies for enhancing the PCEs of emerging PVs, and tailor their properties to match with other emerging applications are discussed.
Dr. George Kakavelakis obtained his PhD degree as IKY/Siemens Scholar of Excellence from the Department of Materials Science and Technology of the University of Crete, Greece, in July 2018. His experimental work was conducted at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering of Hellenic Mediterranean University and focused on the improvement of performance and stability of solution-processed solar photovoltaics through novel interfacial engineering designs. In September 2018, he took a postdoctoral research associate appointment at the Cambridge Graphene Centre and the Engineering Department (Electrical Engineering Division) of Cambridge University, where he developed novel fully printed optoelectronic devices. In April 2020 he has been elected Junior Research Fellow at Wolfson College of Cambridge University and was a tutor and mentor for undergraduate and postgraduate students of the engineering department. In February 2021, he has been awarded the Marie Skłodowska-Curie individual fellowship with a total score of 98%, which was among the top 1% of the Engineering (ST-ENG) panel of the European Commission's MSCA-IF-2020 call. In September 2021 he joined the Laboratory of Photonics and Interfaces at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne as Marie Skłodowska-Curie individual fellow, where he is currently developing emerging ultra-low-cost energy generating and energy storage devices.