Research

Dye-sensitized and perovskite nanostructured solar cells

Dye-sensitized solar cell (DSSC) is a molecular level electrochemical solar cell, where light absorption and current generation occurs in dye molecules attached to a nanostructured TiO2 electrode. Main advantages are a rather good efficiency with simple manufacturing methods, economic and abundant materials, and lending to high throughput roll-to-roll production.  DSSCs research require multidisciplinary research e.g. combining  physics, chemistry, materials, end engineering.

The work on DSSCs was initiated in our group in 2001. The research focus is on cell materials and preparation methods, impedance spectroscopy of charge transport in the cells, optical characterization of the cells and identification of factors affecting their long-term stability. Special emphasis is laid on flexible DSSCs e.g. on plastic or metal sheets  (collaboration with industries) and new materials, e.g. cobalt-complexes, perovskites. The efficiency obtained with our metal-based DSSCs is among the best in the world.
Key research topics include:

  • Flexible substrates incl. upscalingdye solar cell.png
  • Degradation mechanisms and long-term stability
  • Alternative materials
  • Charge transport processes 

Research highlights:

  • Carbon-nanostructured counter electrode
  • Fully flexible solar cell
  • Solar cell on paper
  • Stability and life-time models

Contact persons: Dr. Janne Halme, Dr. Kati Miettunen, Dr. Ghufran Hashmi, Professor Peter Lund (firstname.lastname [at] aalto [dot] fi)


Low-temperature nanoceramic fuel cells

Fuel cells are electrochemical devices that convert the chemical energy of  fuel and oxidant directly into electricity and heat. Fuel cells offer high efficiency, low emissions, modularity and quiet operation. Fuel cells are a promising candidate for powering a wide range of applications, from portable electronics to micro-power plants.

Fuel cells research in our group started in the early 1990s on low-temperature PEM fuel cells and hydrogen storage.  Presently, we work on nano-composites for low-temperature SOFC fuel cells operating at 400-600 °C. The focus is on new nanomaterials to improve performance and life-time of these cells. Research topics include:

  • Nanocomposites for fuel cellsceramic fuel cell.png
  • Single-material designs
  • Electrochemical characterization
  • Laboratory unit-cells, planar cells

Research highlights:

  • GDC and SDC-carbonate nanostructures for LT-SOFC
  • LiZnNi nanomaterials
  • 1000+ mW/cm2 performance
  • Well-equipped fuel cell lab

Contact persons: Dr. Imran Asghar, Mr. Sami Jouttijärvi, Professor Peter Lund (firstname.lastname [at] aalto [dot] fi)

 

Sustainable flexible energy systems

future energy systems.png

New energy technologies and systems link closely to global energy issues and future energy solutions as well as to distributed power generation.

The energy systems related work concentrates on multidisciplinary issues on large-scale integration of renewables into the energy system, energy system flexibility, market penetration and diffusion of new technologies, and global-scale changes. Energy system modelling on different levels has been an important research tools, but also integration of interdisciplinary aspects.

Two important research problems under way are: 1) How to enable fast and cost-effective penetration of new energy technologies; 2) How can large-scale new energy technology schemes in the energy system be managed effectively?

Research highlights:

sustainable energy.png

  • Spatio-temporal load and solar resource model
  • P2H strategies for 2-3-folding renewable use
  • Electric-vehicle fleet model for integration
  • Energy flexibility optimization model

Contact persons: Mr. Jani Mikkola, Mr. Jyri Salpakari, Professor Peter Lund (firstname.lastname [at] aalto [dot] fi)

 

Sustainable energy innovations and policies

Multi-discplinary research on modern  energy policies to face future challenges such as climate change combined with green energy economics opportunities. This is done in collaboration with 10 professors all around Finland. In addition, frugality and reverse innovations in energy are studied, using India as a case.

Research highlights:

  • Price-conditioned technology penetration model
  • Blueprint and scenarios for modern energy policy in Finland
  • Business growth models in renewable energy

Contact persons: Dr. Sanna-Liisa Sihto-Nissilä, Ms. Sini Numminen, Ms. Sannamari Pilpola, Ms. Mari Ratinen, Professor Peter Lund (firstname.lastname [at] aalto [dot] fi)

Page content by: communications-phys [at] aalto [dot] fi (Department of Physics) | Last updated: 05.07.2016.