Dr Daniel RAMIREZ ZORA (Colombia)

Daniel is a material scientist and is working on perovskite solar cells. Hybrid perovskites are ideal materials for photovoltaic applications because of their outstanding optoelectronic properties, simple processing, and low fabrication costs.

PhD in Materials Science

Current position: Substitute Professor, Universidad de Antioquia, Colombia

Research focus: perovskite solar cells

Access to safe and clean sources of energy is one of the greatest challenges that humanity is facing in the 21st century. One of the most viable solutions to the energy problem is the increased use of renewable energy sources, such as solar cells.

Common solar cell technology is based on silicon, which is a complex technology that requires the use of expensive infrastructure with a production market centralised in developed countries. In order to allow solar cell manufacturing all over the world, there is a need to find an affordable technology that can meet the following requirements: simple and high-speed processing techniques and cost-effective production.

The use of halide perovskites for building solar cells is very promising on these points. Benefits include low temperature processing and low cost, which could lead to a new commercial technology at less than half the cost of its current silicon counterpart. The simple scaling-up process is compatible with traditional roll-to-roll processes, such as those performed in newspaper printing, which is standard worldwide. In addition to these items, perovskite solar cells can achieve power conversion efficiencies beyond 25%, which is comparable to the efficiency of silicon solar cells.

Over the past five years Daniel has focused on studying new materials to make efficient, stable, and scalable solar cells. He made significant advances, but there is still some fundamental work that he needs to do. His current focus is, therefore, on understanding the operating principle of these devices and developing new strategies to increase stability and for large-scale manufacturing. To improve stability, he examined changes in the perovskite composition, the reduction of defects via surface passivation and the use of inorganic selective contacts.

The jury appreciated Daniel’s highly relevant work in the field of material sciences regarding perovskite solar cells. Perovskite solar cell technology is really promising for increasing the amount of renewable energy.