DescriptionLearning from the concepts used by green plants' photosynthesis, we have developed nano-structured systems affording efficient solar light harvesting and conversion to electricity and fuels. Solar cells using dyes or semiconducting nano-particles as light harvesters supported by mesoscopic oxide films have emerged as credible contenders to conventional p-n junction photovoltaic devices. Separating light absorption from charge carrier transport dye-sensitized mesoscopic solar cells (DSCs) were the first to use a three-dimensional nanocrystalline junction for solar electricity production. The standard AM 1.5 solar to electric power conversion efficiency (PCE) has reached 12.9% for laboratory cells and 9.9 % for PV modules. Even higher efficiencies are attained under ambient and indoor light conditions. These features along with excellent long-term stability have fostered the first commercial applications, the industrial production of DSCs attaining presently the MW/year scale. Very exciting results have recently been obtained with perovskites and quantum dot particles as light harvesters in mesoscopic solar cells. Striking advances in the direct generation of fuels such as hydrogen from water and sunlight have been achieved by the judicious design of photosystems composed of nanostructured Fe2O3 or Cu2O films.
Dr. Takanabe's research interests include the development of novel nano-materials for a variety of energy-conversion reactions for sustainable development, from conventional methane conversion to photocatalytic hydrogen production. His research is focused on understanding the reaction mechanisms involved in catalytic processes using rigorous kinetic and isotopic analyses and using spectroscopic and electrochemical techniques.
He is a professor at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, the Laboratory of Photonics and Interfaces. He is author of over 900 publications, two books and inventor or co-inventor of over 50 patents. His work has been cited over 88’000 times (h-index 138) making him one of the 10 most highly cited chemists in the world.
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