Members of the Nano-Electronics Centre at the Advanced Technology Institute (ATI) have been awarded the 'Runner-up' place in Obducat Prize 2006 for work related to nanolithography. The team, consisting of Mr Nanditha Dissanayake, Dr Damitha Adikaari, Dr Richard Curry, Dr Ross Hatton and Professor Ravi Silva, improved the fabrication of organic solar cells by modifying the device structure in the nano-scale using nano-imprinting lithography.
The Holy Grail for all thin film large area solar cell production has been the low power conversion efficiency of the devices at a reasonable cost. Organic solar cells offer low cost but also low power conversion efficiency. The team at the ATI at the University of Surrey have used nano-imprinting lithography, a technique that is simple to use, inexpensive and scalable, to fabricating organic solar cells with increased photon harvesting area, significantly increasing the power conversion efficiency. This technology can be extended to other scientific fields to fabricate nano-scale devices and systems not only for photovoltaic devices but nano-electronics in general.
In their report of the proposal the Obducat Prize Award Selection Committee said: “There is a high scientific level in the background work and it is judged as having a high generic quality and value which could generate a commercial potential in the future.” Scientific quality and manufacturability were just two of the factors taken into account by the panel in evaluating proposals.
On news of their award, lead researcher Nanditha Dissanayake comments: “It is very encouraging to receive recognition from a key player in the industrial community for our research efforts in using cutting edge nanotechnological tools to explore fabrication possibilities in high efficient, low cost solar cells as a viable energy source.”
The director of the ATI Professor Ravi Silva said: “We are justifiably proud of the relationship we have with industry on technologically significant issues and welcome this challenge of working closely with commercial partners on joint projects.”