The objective of the SOLAMON project is to develop high potential Plasmon Generating Nanocomposite Materials (PGNM) which will pave the way to the generation III solar cells (high efficiency & low cost). The objective is an augmentation in the External Quantum Efficiency resulting in an increase of 20% in the short circuit current density of the thin film solar cells. To achieve such an ambitious goal, the project will focus on the development of fully tailored building block nanoparticles able to generate a plasmon effect for enhanced solar absorption in thin film solar cells. Such nanoparticles designed for an optimum absorption will be integrated in solar cells matrix using a recently developed room temperature deposition process.
This step will result in the specific design of PGNM for solar cells using a knowledge based approach coupling modeling at both scales: nanoscopic (plasmonic structure) and macroscopic (solar cells). SOLAMON will address three different classes of solar cells: a-Si:H thin films, organics and dye sensitised. Developing the PGNM on these three classes aims at maximizing the project impact and not to compare them because scientific background acquired on these technologies could be easily transferred to other ones. As a matter of fact, a-Si:H technology targets mainly the BuiIding Integrated PV (BIPV) market (large surfaces) whereas the two others are most suitable for the consumer good market (nomad applications). The project workprogram, the critical path and the contingencies plans are designed to maximize both social and economic impact. For this reason, the BIPV applications (i.e. a-Si:H based technology) will be firstly considered when a strategic choice occurs, keeping in mind that, even of large economic importance, the two other technologies do not have the same key BIPV environmental and social impact.