The programme focuses on the development of clean energy harvesting, solar fuels and energy storage. This programme is supported by major funding from NRF – Competitive Research Programme, CERP, and also EDB. Most of these research activities also come under the umbrella organization of the Energy Research Institute @ NTU. There are three main thrusts in this research programme and they are solar energy harvesting, solar fuels and energy storage.
Three thrusts of the Research Programme
Solar Energy Harvesting:
Research focuses on third generation solar cells such as inorganic, organic, and organicinorganic hybrid polymer-based heterojunction solar cells which offer a potentially much cheaper alternative way to harness solar energy. Important classes of solar cells being researched include sensitized solar cells, bulk heterojunction cells, and Copper Indium Gallium Selenide (CIGS). Enhancement in device stability, efficiency and large area solution processing of these devices are priority areas of research.
The focus of this research is in the development of artificial photosynthetic materials for H2O and CO2 conversion. Some of the materials developed are metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) which is classed as crystalline hybrid materials whose crystal structure is made up of extended 3D open frameworks of metal ions or small discrete clusters connected through multidentate organic spacers and also semiconductor nanoparticles that are solar absorbers and can convert the photon energy into chemical driving forces to catalytically transform water and/or CO2 into high efficient fuels such as hydrogen, methane and methanol.
A promising way to meet the future demands for high energy storage – small size and light weight – is to integrate advanced, so–called “supercapacitors” with batteries. Placed in parallel with the battery terminal, such a capacitor, in addition to significant storage capacity, provides a current boost on high load demands. This enhances the battery’s performance, prolongs the runtime, and extends the longevity of the battery. Thus, supercapacitors can allow batteries to meet current and future energy needs. Also, novel device architectures, such as Hybrid Electrochemical Capacitors (HEC), which combine the advantages of Supercapacitors and Batteries in one device, offer a possible solution for some of the current challenges.
Research Of Research:
- Carbon nanotube based printed electronics
- Charge storage devices
- CNT based sensor for biomedical and gas sensing applications
- Co-stabilisation and Recycling of Industrial Wastes
- Development of photovoltaic cells
- Electrochemical charge storage devices
- Environmental Protection
- Fabrication of organic thin film transistors
- Non-volatile memory devices based on organic transistors
- Photocatalysis and Environmental Catalysis