Professor Jenny Nelson has made several theoretical contributions to the field of photovoltaics (PV) materials and devices research. Her work has concerned the efficiency of solar to electric power conversion and routes reduce the cost reductions of solar cell manufacture. Her work is known both in the UK and overseas. In her early work she was responsible for developing the theoretical and computational tools for the characterisation and design of the quantum well (QW) solar cell.
As an EPSRC Advanced Fellow she focused on the development of radically lower cost PV materials, addressing an outstanding problem in the emerging dye-sensitised solar cell (DSSC) technology. She helped to show that electronic disorder in the nanocrystalline TiO2 electrode is a major factor controlling charge transport and recombination dynamics, and how these processes influence device performance.
Since 2000 she has focused on the application of solution processable, organic semiconductors as PV materials. Here she has worked to relate the electrical properties of molecular semiconductors to their chemical and physical structure, a critical contribution because mobility limits the efficiency of organic PV devices, and has also addressed the relationship between the structural, electronic and spectroscopic properties of materials and the resulting device performance. Her work has attracted collaborations with industrial and academic partners.
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