Transport layer with ultra-small CuO nanoparticles (Plasma Process Polym 14, 2017, 1600224)

CuO is a versatile p-type material for energy applications capable of imparting diverse functionalities by manipulating its band-energy diagram. CuO nanoparticles films have been used for the first time in all-inorganic third generation solar cell devices demonstrating highly effective functionalities as blocking layer (Plasma Process Polym 14, 2017, 1600224).

Charge carrier localised in MABI clusters (Nature Communications 8, 2017, 170)

Nanoclusters in organic-inorganic hybrid bismuth halide can be used for the splitting of a high-energy photons and this could bring advances in solar cells as they are arranged in a bulk crystalline material that can be processed from solution. The generation of two low-energy photons from a high-energy one has been observed in quantum dots and lanthanide ions due to the confinement of excitons and the transport of charge carriers from neighbouring ones (Nature Communications 8, 2017, 170).

Environmentally friendly quantum dots for next generation solar cells (Sust. Energy Fuels 1, 2017, 1611)

Shine on you crazy carbon! Nitrogen-doped carbon quantum dots (N-CQDs) are synthesized using a simple custom atmospheric pressure microplasma. The N-CQDs show interesting quantum confined optical properties that depend on the amount of nitrogen incorporation. The N-CQDs are incorporated into a photovoltaic device as the photoactive layer achieving an extraordinary open-circuit voltage of 1.8 V and a power conversion efficiency of 0.8% (champion device), amongst the highest reported to date for group IV and carbon based quantum dots (Sustainable Energy Fuels 1, 2017, 1611).

Gold nanoparticles synthesized in water droplets (Nano Lett, 2017, 17, 1336)

An entirely new method of nanoparticle chemical synthesis  based on liquid droplet irradiation with ultralow energy electrons. We have developed a source of electrons with energies close to thermal which leads to a number of important and unique benefits. The charged species, including the growing nanoparticles, are held in an ultrathin surface reaction zone which enables extremely rapid precursor reduction. (Nano Lett, 2017, 17, 1336).

Ultra-small Silicon-carbide Nanocrystals (Nanoscale 8, 2016, 17141)

Highly size-controllable synthesis of free-standing perfectly crystalline silicon carbide nanocrystals has been achieved for the first time through a plasma-based bottom-up process. This low-cost, scalable, ligand-free atmospheric pressure technique allows fabrication of ultra-small (down to 1.5 nm) nanocrystals with very low level of surface contamination, leading to fundamental insights into optical properties of the nanocrystals (Nanoscale 8, 2016, 17141).

Carbon nanotubes on Silicon nanocrystals (ACS Appl Mater Interfaces 8, 2016, 19012)

Carbon nanotube (CNT) growth has been demonstrated from partially oxidized silicon nanocrystals (Si NCs) that exhibit quantum confinement effects. We determine experimentally and explain with theoretical simulations that the Si NCs morphology together with a necessary shell oxide of ∼1 nm is vital to allow for the nonmetallic growth of CNTs. This contribution is of significant importance to the improvement of nonmetallic catalysts for CNT growth and the development of Si NC/CNT interfaces (ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 8 (2016) 19012).