Solar Technologies

Solar photovoltaics (PV) are the fastest-growing energy technology in the world and a leading candidate for terawatt-scale, carbon-free electricity generation by mid-century. Global PV deployment is dominated by crystalline silicon (c-Si) wafer-based technologies, which benefit from high power conversion efficiencies, abundant materials, and proven manufacturability. While PV module costs continue to decline rapidly, however, further system-level cost reductions will likely require lightweight and flexible module designs that are inaccessible with today's c-Si technologies.

Emerging thin-film PV technologies provide new functionality today and could reshape the solar landscape tomorrow. Emerging nanomaterials such as perovskites, organics, and QDs are structurally complex but simple to process. These materials open the door to new formats for deploying solar power. Unlike conventional technologies, organic solar cells can be made visibly transparent for ubiquitous deployment. Low-temperature processing allows lightweight substrates to be used, leading to high power-to-weight ratios and flexible cells that are easy to transport, store, and install. Flexible, monolithically integrated modules are inexpensive to manufacture and durable when deployed, with no wafers to break or solder joints to fail. In the long term these technologies could reach PV module and system cost floors unachievable with conventional silicon. They can also satisfy global energy needs without major constraints on material abundance, material production, or land use.

Our work in ONE Lab focuses on the basic photophysics and chemistry of emerging PV materials, from QDs to molecular organics to perovskites, as well as development of scalable device architectures and large-area processing methods for emerging thin-film PV technologies.

ONE Lab is a core contributor to the Tata-MIT GridEdge Solar research program, working toward scalable design and manufacturing of lightweight, flexible solar cells.

Team Members

 

Current Projects

Ultra-Thin, Flexible Solar Cells

Non-Radiative Decay in Perovskites

Solid-State Upconversion

Inkjet-Printed Perovskite PV

Electrical Transport in Perovskites

 

 

 

 

Past Projects

ZnO Nanowires for Enhanced Photocurrent in Quantum Dot Solar Cells

 

Policy Studies, Perspectives, and Working Papers

MIT Future of Solar Energy Study

Pathways for Solar Photovoltaics

Solar Heating for Residential and Industrial Processes

 

Vladimir on Rethinking Solar Energy