Equipment and Competenses

Solar Energy

We have a strong tradition in research on dye-sensitized solar cells, also known as “Grätzel cells”, and more recently on quantum dots and perovskite cells. Our research bridges many scientific fields of chemistry and physics, from fundamental light absorption and electron transfer studies to full device characterization and stability tests under realistic working conditions. A wide range of techniques is used to characterize materials and solar cells, to measure all energy levels involved and all processes occurring at illumination.

We are a core group of the Swedish Consortium for Artificial Photosynthesis (est. 1994). We study fundamental reactions of excited states, electron-proton transfer and mechanistic steps of catalysts relevant for solar fuels formation by artificial photosynthesis. We use a range of time-resolved laser spectroscopic methods, from the femtosecond time scale and slower, as well as photochemical and electrochemical techniques.

Photochemistry & Laser spectroscopy

Proton-coupled electron transfer and excited state proton transfer are essential steps in natural and artificial photosynthesis. One of our major research themes is photoinduced electron transfer with applications in solar energy conversion and storage, e.g. catalysis for H2 production, and molecular switches. Fundamental understanding of photochemical solar cells will allow for improved device performance either by decreasing existent losses (photoisomerisation, excited state proton transfer) or by increasing efficiency (photon upconversion via sensitized triplet-triplet annihilation). Energy transfer is a key step in a broad range of natural and applied processes, among others photosynthesis, solar cells and bioimaging.

Molecular simulations

Computer simulations provide a natural link between theory and experiments. We are using both Monte Carlo simulations  and Brownian dynamics simulations to interpret macroscopic behaviour in terms of microscopic properties with emphasis on soft matter systems. In particular, we are lookinig at polymers under confinement or crosslinked polymer networks.
To understand the microscopic structure of polymer coated surfaces, one needs, e.g., to analyze both the size and shape, as well as the intra- and interchain entaglement.
One of our key interests is to understand the relation between macroscopic properties and microscopic structure of crosslinked polymer gel materials. To that end, we have developed a new set of algorithms, making possible the modelling of a closed network, without any dangling ends or periodic images.