Solardam Colloquium (II)
Come and join us for the December installment of the Solardam Colloquium Series. This month's speakers will be Elizabeth von Hauff and Andrew Ringsmuth, two of our colleagues from the VU. The programme will be followed by drinks at the Academisch Kwartier (coffee bar), located on the ground floor of Science Park 904.
1. Elizabeth von Hauff (VU) - Good vibrations for solar energy conversion
Organic and nanostructured semiconductors offer many advantages for energy conversion, saving and storage applications. However, poor electrical transport, due to trapping and recombination, are a critical limitation for real opto-electronic applications. Surprisingly, charge carrier transport is still not well-understood in these systems, making it difficult to develop design strategies for high performance applications. An increasing number of reports indicate the importance of considering the effects of phonon modes and molecular vibrations on the evolution of excited states in soft semiconductors. New experimental strategies are urgently needed to correlate dynamic relationships between semiconductor structure and electrical transport. In this talk, I will present our current work on combining vibrational and dielectric spectroscopies to elucidate electron-phonon interactions in organic and nanostructured semiconducting films.
2. Andrew K. Ringsmuth (VU) - How can we optimise light harvesting in photosynthesis for solar fuel production?
Economically scalable and environmentally sustainable methods for fuel production are an important challenge in the era of climate change and diminishing fossil fuel security. In photosynthesis, Nature has provided a blueprint for converting abundant solar photons into stable fuels. However, natural photosynthetic systems have evolved to support survival of organisms in their native habitats and this has not necessarily required the high light-conversion efficiencies needed for scalable energy systems. In this talk I will summarise established strategies for optimising light harvesting in photosynthetic energy systems, and present a new theoretical approach that we have developed in Solardam. This approach uses principles from complex systems theory too coordinate optimisations of subsystems at different scales for maximal light-conversion efficiency at the scale of the overall photosynthetic system.