Pseudoparticle discovery spotlights energy conversion processes for photovoltaics

April 23, 2015 // By Paul Buckley
Researchers of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) have unveiled how pseudoparticles play a key role in the conversion of light into storable energy.

Together with scientists of the Fritz Haber Institute in Berlin and the Aalto University in Helsinki/Finland, the researchers studied the formation of so-called polarons in zinc oxide.

The pseudoparticles travel through the photoactive material until they are converted into electrical or chemical energy at an interface. The findings that are of relevance to photovoltaics among others are now published in the journal Nature Communications.

Processes converting light into storable energy may contribute to a sustainable energy supply. Nature has been using such processes for photosynthesis to form carbohydrates with the help of light.

Using the photoactive zinc oxide material, scientists studied the formation and migration of so-called polarons. (Figure: Patrick Rinke/Aalto University)