Luleå University of Technology, Sweden
Alberto Vomiero is a chair Professor in Experimental Physics at the Luleå University of Technology, Sweden. He completed his PhD in Electronic Engineering from the University of Trento in 2003 and his Degree in Physics from the University of Padova in 1999. His main interests are in composite nanomaterials (wide bandgap semiconductors, semiconducting nanocrystals and hybrid systems) for gas sensors and excitonic solar cells. He is Marie Curie International Outgoing Fellow of the European Commission, Fellow of the Institute of Physics (UK) and of the Institute of Nanotechnology (UK), past chair of the Italian section of the American Nano Society and member of the Global Young Academy. He is member of the editorial board of Scientific Reports (NPG).
In several types of excitonic solar cells, nanomaterials can play a critical role in boosting photoconversion efficiency by ameliorating the processes of charge photogeneration, exciton dissociation and charge transport. Several strategies can be pursued, including broadening of light absorbance to reduce solar light losses, fastening exciton dissociation and charge injection from the photoactive medium to the charge transporting materials, reducing charge recombination during charge transport and collection at the electrodes. In this lecture, a few examples of application of nanomaterials will be thoroughly discussed in 2 specific categories of excitonic solar cells, namely dye- and quantum dot-sensitized solar cells. Emphasis will be given to the investigation of both the photoactive medium (including composite and core-shell quantum dots) and the charge transporting scaffold (including metal oxide hierarchical structures, nanowires, nanorods and carbon-based hybrids) towards a materials-by-design approach.