Solaronix SA

Rue, Switzerland

Solaronix SA

Rue, Switzerland

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Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: NMP-2008-2.4-1 | Award Amount: 9.75M | Year: 2009

ORION puts together a multidisciplinary consortium of leading European universities, research institutes and industries with the overall goal of advancing the fabrication of inorganic-organic hybrid materials using ionic liquids. Maximum research efforts within ORION will be addressed to achieve inorganic-organic hybrids with an ordered nanostructure and to understand and characterize the new generation of inorganic-organic hybrids. ORION aims to take advantage of the properties of Ionic Liquids as templating supramolecular solvents in the synthesis of novel hybrid materials. Additionally, the use of ILs will bring innovative properties to the hybrid materials due to their intrinsic wide electrochemical window and high ionic conductivity and hence this method will generate radically new materials. The new ordered inorganic-organic hybrids will be morphologically and electrochemically characterized with emphasis on their potential application in batteries, innovative solar cells and gas sensors. By reaching this ambitious goal, ORION will pave the way towards inorganic-organic hybrid products for chemical, materials, energy and sensor industries.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: BSG-SME | Phase: SME-2012-1 | Award Amount: 1.12M | Year: 2012

Dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSC) are a promising new generation of photovoltaic which have relatively high performance compared to silicon-based solar cells in many non-ideal light environments such as dim, diffuse and indoor light. They are on the verge of wide-scale commercialization but still face challenging issues to solve on long-term stability, materials cost and ability to recycle. Many of these issues are rooted in the liquid phase of the cell, the dye / electrolyte pairing. In particular, the reliance on the rare earth Ruthenium as the active constituent of the dye has strong implications on the raw material cost and could potentially be difficult to source in the long term. The ADIOS-Ru project aims to develop a suite of materials for highly stable, low cost DSSC with immediate commercialisation potential. Organic dyes have reached an advanced stage in laboratory development and the RTD partners will undergo selection, modification, analysis and stability improvement tasks in order to provide the SME partners with a low cost alternative to the universally used Ruthenium dye. An ionic liquid electrolyte with tailored properties to support the dye performance will be selected and developed. The SME partners will aid in materials validation, accelerated stability testing amd lab to industrial scaling of production, and design and validate a DSSC device tuned specifically for the dye/electrolyte combination. The RTD performers in the consortium are leading European institutes in the field of DSSC, with numerous publications and patents relating to the development of the technology. The SMEs are the furthest advanced value chain members in the DSSC market, and therefore have the industrial capability to quickly exploit the results of this project. The SMEs have complementary, non-conflicting roles in the supply of materials for DSSC and the production of the final devices, and will work in cooperation to build European leadership in the DSSC market.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: NMP.2011.2.1-2 | Award Amount: 4.37M | Year: 2012

The CRONOS project seeks to develop a quantitative, flexible and fully atomistic theory of ultrafast dynamics in real materials. Our effort will create the necessary knowledge for advancing two technological areas crucial for the economic future of Europe and the well being of its citizens: new materials for solar energy harvesting and ultra-high density magnetic data storage. In particular we will construct the necessary theoretical tools for addressing the problems of energy photo-conversion and laser-induced ultrafast magnetization dynamics. Crucially CRONOS will not just look at how an optical excitation perturbs a materials system but also at how such an excitation can be engineered to produce a desired response. Hence both the direct and the inverse problem will be tackled. CRONOS theoretical program will be validated by a broad experimental activity on ultra-fast pump-probe spectroscopy and by the presence in the consortium of European companies. Equally important is the fact that the consortium will produce a substantial amount of high-end scientific software, which will then be distributed freely to the academic community. The project will develop a quantitative and materials-specific theory for electron dynamics in nano-structures, which, at the same time, is fully atomistic, efficient, scalable to large systems, and rigorously theoretically formulated. The core of our method is time-dependent density functional theory, TDDFT, which was invented by a member of our consortium and has been developed over the years . Our workplan comprises formal methodological development, algorithm implementation, applications to both solar cells and magnetic recording, and experimental validation. A significant deliverable of this project will also be the wide distribution of computational packages


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: JTI-CP-FCH | Phase: SP1-JTI-FCH.2013.2.5 | Award Amount: 3.39M | Year: 2014

To address the challenges of solar energy capture and storage in the form of a chemical fuel, we will develop a hybrid photoelectrochemical-photovoltaic (PEC-PV) tandem device for light-driven water splitting. This concept is based on a visible light-absorbing metal oxide photoelectrode, which is immersed in water and placed in front of a smaller-bandgap thin film PV cell. This tandem approach ensures optimal use of the solar spectrum, while the chemically stable metal oxide protects the underlying PV cell from photocorrosion. Recent breakthroughs have brought metal oxide photoelectrodes close to the efficiency levels required for practical applications. We will use our extensive combined expertise on nanostructuring, photon management, and interface engineering to design innovative ways to solve the remaining bottlenecks, and achieve a solar-to-H2 (STH) energy conversion efficiency of 10% for a small area device, with less than 10% performance decrease over 1000 h. In parallel, our academic and industrial partners will collaborate to develop large-area deposition technologies for scale-up to 50 cm2. This will be combined with the large-area PV technology already available within the consortium, and used in innovative cell designs that address critical scale-up issues, such as mass transport limitations and resistive losses. The finished design will be used to construct a water splitting module consisting of 4 identical devices that demonstrates the scalability of the technology. This prototype will be tested in the field, and show a STH efficiency of 8% with the same stability as the small area device. In parallel, our partners from industry and research institutions will work together on an extensive techno-economic and life-cycle analysis based on actual performance characteristics. This will give a reliable evaluation of the application potential of photoelectrochemical hydrogen production, and further strengthen Europes leading position in this growing field.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: NMP.2013.1.4-2 | Award Amount: 5.67M | Year: 2013

According to European Commission [EC, COM (2012) 572, 3.10.2012] important challenges at European level are related to the establishment of validated method and instrumentation for detection, characterization and analysis of nanoparticles. In the framework of the SETNanometro project, the use of various measurement techniques for the determination of the NPs properties will allow to move from the currently used trial and error approach toward the development of well defined and controlled protocols for the production of TiO2 NPs. A particular care will be devoted to the establishment of correct metrological traceability chain in order to ensure the reliability of the results. The lack of international measurement standards for calibration is an aspect of particular relevance in nanotechnologies as it is difficult to select a universal calibration artefact to achieve repeatability at nanoscale. The materials produced according to such procedures, will be hence sufficiently characterised and homogeneous in their properties to become candidate Certified Reference Materials to be used in various applications where the lack of metrological traceability is encountered. The project results are expected to lead to fundamental impacts on the following areas: Environment: the increased knowledge of TiO2 NPs will improve the photocatalytic properties for the treatment of pollutants in air and water Energy: the better knowledge of dimension and electronic structure of TiO2 will allow to improve the traceability of DSSC measurements. Health: the engineering of topographic and surface composition of TiO2 nanostructured coatings of orthopaedic and dental prostheses will support the design of rules for the production of devices exhibiting otpimized interfacial properties for a better and quicker integration of the implants in the hosting bone tissues.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ENERGY.2008.10.1.2;NMP-2008-2.6-1 | Award Amount: 4.00M | Year: 2009

INNOVASOL aims to develop radically new nanostructured materials for photovoltaic (PV) excitonic solar cells (XSCs) really competitive with traditional energy sources. The main objective is to leapfrog current limitations of third-generation PV devices through a drastic improvement of the materials used for assembling XSCs. The first step is the substitution of the liquid electrolytes, currently used in dye-sensitised solar cells, with solid-state hole conductors. In parallel, semiconductor quantum dots (QDs) with tuned band gap, designed to enhance the photon capture efficiency, will replace the organic dyes as light absorbers. A striking improvement is expected from multi exciton generation (MEG) effects, overcoming the Shockley-Queisser efficiency limit of 31% for the PV conversion. In a second step, highly innovative QDs will be designed and synthesized: the QDs will be covered by self-assembled monolayers of amphiphilic dye molecules, mimicking the photosynthetic antenna system. The dye molecules will act as molecular relays (MRs), which connect the QDs to the transparent conductive oxide (TCO). Novel TCO architectures will be developed for efficient interface energy transfer and electron diffusion. Six academic institutions guarantee an interdisciplinary research, based on top level theoretical and experimental approaches. The high degree of knowledge of solid-state physics and chemistry, nanoscience and nanotechnology of the researchers assures that the new concepts and the objectives proposed will be successfully developed/pursued. Fiat research center and Solaronix, a SME leader in the XSCs production, will provide proof-of-concept prototypes to validate the innovative materials developed by the academic partners. Materials and technological solutions of INNOVASOL are original and will pave the way for future generation XSCs alternative to devices so far developed both inside and outside Europe.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: NMP.2012.2.1-2 | Award Amount: 4.71M | Year: 2012

The Eco2CO2 project aims at exploiting a photo-electro-chemical (PEC) CO2 conversion route for the synthesis of methanol as a key intermediate for the production of fine chemicals (fragrances, flavourings, adhesives, monomers,) in a lignocellulosic biorefinery. A distinct improvement in the ecological footprint of the envisaged chemical industries will thus be achieved by: i) boosting the potential of lignocellulosic biorefineries by exploiting secondary by-products such as furfurals or lignin; ii) providing a small but non-negligible contribution to the reduction of CO2 release into the atmosphere by exploitation of sunlight as an energy source. The most crucial development in the project will be the development of a PEC reactor capable of converting CO2 into methanol by exploiting water and sun light with a targeted conversion efficiency exceeding 6%, with reference to wavelengths above 400 nm, and an expected durability of 10.000 h. The above specifications must be reached without using expensive noble metals or precious materials which should enable costs of the PEC panels lower than 60 Euro/m2 including the installation. Catalytic reactions of methanol and furfural to produce perfuming agents via partial oxidation or methylation, as well as of lignin or lignin depolymerisation derivatives to produce adhesives or monomers (e.g. p-xylene) will undergo a R&D programme to achieve cost effective production of green fine chemicals, proven by the end of the project via lab bench tests of at least 100 g/h production rates. Based on early calculations, if successful, the Eco2CO2 technologies should be capable of inducing avoided CO2 emissions by the year 2020 as high as 50 Mtons/year worldwide.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ENERGY.2008.10.1.1 | Award Amount: 3.66M | Year: 2009

Leaves can split water into oxygen and hydrogen at ambient conditions exploiting sun light. Prof. James Barber, one of the key players of SOLHYDROMICS, was the recipient of the international Italgas Prize in 2005 for his studies on Photosystem II (PSII), the enzyme that governs this process. In photosynthesis, H2 is used to reduce CO2 and give rise to the various organic compounds needed by the organisms or even oily compounds which can be used as fuels. However, a specific enzyme, hydrogenase, may lead to non-negligible H2 formation even within natural systems under given operating conditions. Building on this knowledge, and on the convergence of the work of the physics, materials scientists, biochemists and biologists involved in the project, an artificial device will be developed to convert sun energy into H2 with 10% efficiency by water splitting at ambient temperature, including: -) an electrode exposed to sunlight carrying PSII or a PSII-like chemical mimic deposited upon a suitable electrode -) a membrane enabling transport of both electrons and protons via e.g. carbon nanotubes or TiO2 connecting the two electrodes and ion-exchange resins like e.g. Nafion, respectively -) a cathode carrying the hydrogenase enzyme or an artificial hydrogenase catalyst in order to recombine protons and electrons into pure molecular hydrogen at the opposite side of the membrane The project involves a strong and partnership hosting highly ranked scientists (from the Imperial College London, the Politecnico di Torino and the GKSS research centre on polymers in Geesthacht) who have a significant past cooperation record and four high-tech SMEs (Solaronix, Biodiversity, Nanocyl and Hysytech) to cover with expertise and no overlappings the key tasks of enzyme purification and enzyme mimics development, enzyme stabilisation on the electrodes, membrane development, design and manufacturing of the SOLHYDROMICS proof-of-concept prototype, market and technology implementation studies


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: JTI-CP-FCH | Phase: SP1-JTI-FCH.2011.2.6 | Award Amount: 3.59M | Year: 2012

Leaves can split water into O2 and H2 at ambient conditions exploiting sun light. James Barber, one of the key players of ArtipHyction, elucidated Photosystem II (PSII), the enzyme that governs this process. In photosynthesis, H2 is used to reduce CO2 and give rise to the various organic compounds needed by the organisms or even oily compounds which can be used as fuels. However, a specific enzyme, hydrogenase, may lead to non-negligible H2 formation even within natural systems. Building on the pioneering work performed in a FET project based on natural enzymes (www.solhydromics.org) and the convergence of the work of the physics, materials scientists, chemical engineers and chemists involved in the project, an artificial device will be developed to convert sun energy into H2 with close to 10% efficiency by water splitting at ambient temperature, including: -) an electrode exposed to sunlight carrying a PSII-like chemical mimic deposited upon a suitable transparent electron-conductive porous electrode material (e.g. ITO, FTO) -) a membrane enabling transport of protons via a pulsated thin water gap -) an external wire for electron conduction between electrodes -) a cathode carrying an hydrogenase-enzyme mimic over a porous electron-conducting support in order to recombine protons and electrons into pure molecular hydrogen at the opposite side of the membrane. A tandem system of sensitizers will be developed at opposite sides of the membrane in order to capture light at different wavelengths so as to boost the electrons potential at the anode for water splitting purposes and to inject electrons at a sufficiently high potential for effective H2 evolution at the cathode. Along with this, the achievement of the highest transparence level of the membrane and the electrodes will be a clear focus of the R&D work. A proof of concept prototype of about 100 W (3 g/h H2 equivalent) will be assembled and tested by the end of the project for a projected lifetime of >10,000 h.


The present invention concerns novel silolothiophene-bridged triphenylamines and related compounds and their use as hole transport materials (HTM), for example in optoelectronic and/or electrochemical devices. These materials are particularly useful in organic-inorganic perovskite-based solid state solar cells. Preferred compounds are:

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