Photovoltaic (PV) and photoelectrochemical (PEC) solar cells are energy technologies that convert sunlight into electricity or fuels. The main common component of both PV and PEC technologies is the semiconductor absorber material, where the sunlight is absorbed, and the resulting charge carriers are transported. Existing absorber technologies such as Si have good efficiency, cost, and reliability and are on track to meet about 3% (1 TW) of global electricity demand by 2030. However, satisfying 30% (10 TW) of the world’s energy demand by 2050 using PV, would also require low capital expenditures and several other features (i.e. elements should be earth abundant, not “critical”, non-toxic). Even more stringent selection criteria apply to materials that can provide a substantial fraction of fuels using PEC. These observations call for additional research and development of emerging inorganic semiconductors absorber materials, to diversify the portfolio of existing PV and PEC solar cell technologies.
This symposium will cover all aspects of emerging inorganic semiconducting materials, with particular emphasis on photovoltaic and photoelectrochemical solar cells and related energy conversion technologies. The focus will be on new materials for PV and PEC solar cell technologies. A wide range of emerging photovoltaic absorber materials will be discussed, including SnS, Cu2O, FeS2, Sb2S3, Bi2S3, MoSe2, ZnSnN2, ZnSiP2, Cu2SnS3, CuSbS2, AgBiS2, SbSeI, CsPbCl3, Cu2ZnSnS4, Cu2BaSnS4, Cs2BiAgCl6, as well as other novel chalcogenides, nitrides and phosphides. Emerging photoelectrochemical absorbers will include but not limited to Ta3N5, BiVO4, FeWO4, Mn2V2O7, Cu3V2O8, SrNbO2N, ZnFe2O4, Cu2ZnSnS4 and other semiconducting materials (but not electrocatalysts). This year, we will also consider contributions on emerging contacts, buffers, transparent conductors, and other supporting semiconducting materials for established Si, CdTe, CIGS, III-V PV absorbers, and for widely-studied TiO2, Fe2O3, WO3 PEC absorbers, but not these well-established PV and PEC absorbers themselves. Contributions on emerging materials for other optoelectronic energy conversion technologies, such as solid-state lighting, photodetectors, or photocatalysis, are also welcome.
This is a 4th symposium in series at MRS Spring meetings, also alternating with similar biannual events at Spring EMRS. A young-scientist tutorial and a panel discussion are tentatively planned as a part of this symposium.