Energy Conversion and Storage Research

Energy Conversion and Storage Research

After accomplished his Ph.D. from the University of Bristol, UK, Dr. Syed Farid Uddin Farhad has re-joined the Industrial Physics Division in 2016 and has been actively engaged in R&D activities for developing the energy materials for sunlight harvesting and storage (solar fuel) purposes. He has also been engaged in designing and constructing of ultra-sensitive as well as sophisticated laboratory equipment locally for enhancing the research scopes and facilities of the Industrial Physics Division and established a brand new section for Energy Conversion and Storage Research(ECSR). The following R&D project highlights are the immediate fruition of this section.

 

R&D Project-01(BCSIR Ref.#D-18):

Low cost and Environment-friendly Semiconducting materials synthesize and property optimization for Solar Cell applications.

 

Overview:

The current technology behind the production of solar cell modules is very expensive because of the scarcity of raw materials and sophisticated manufacturing technique. The cost factors during mass production (e.g., Silicon(Si)-wafer based photovoltaic(PV)) and toxicity as well as resource limitation of the base elements (e.g., CdTe and CuInGaSe2 (CIGS) thin film PVs) of these PVs limit their practical potential in the case of Tera Watt(TW) level solar panel deployment. This R&D project focuses mainly on the synthesis and property optimization of earth-abundant materials for solar cell applications.

Objectives:

  • To synthesize wide bandgap (Eg> 3 eV) electron conducting thin films (n-Type).
  • To synthesize low and Intermediate band gap (Eg< 2.5 eV) hole conducting (p-Type) as well as absorbing layers.
  • To characterize deposited n- and p-type layers and their property optimization for integrating them into PV device.

 

  • n-Type materials: Zinc oxide(ZnO) and Al-doped ZnO(AZO) thin films have been grown on both amorphous glass and FTO substrates and deposited films were characterized by SEM, XRD, UV-VIS-NIR and RT-PL spectroscopy for property optimization(see figure 1 below) for the realization of ‘All-Oxide Based Solar Cells’

Figure 1: (a) Crystalline structure(XRD), (b) Optical Bandgap(UV-VIS-NIR),(c) Surface morphology(Plain view-SEM), (d) Cross-sectional image(SEM), and (e) Room temperature Photoluminescence(RT-PL) of Nanostructured Zinc oxide thin films.  

 

Related Publications: click  here 1 & 2

 

  • p-type materials: Copper Oxides( Cu2O, CuO) thin films have been grown on amorphous glass, quartz and conducting polycrystalline substrates by modified Successive Ionic Layer Adsorption and Reaction(m-SILAR) technique. Structural, Optical and Photoelectrochemical properties of the deposited films investigated by a variety of characterization techniques (Figure 2).

 

Figure 2: (a) Crystalline structure (b) Optical Bandgap(SEM image inset) and (c) Home-built measurement setup for Surface Photovoltage(SPV), and (d) Transient SPV of a typical copper oxide photocathode grown by the modified-SILAR method.

 

Related Publications: click  here 1 & 2

 

 

R&D Project-02(BCSIR Ref.#54):

Fabrication of highly Transparent and Conducting Substrate (TCS) using low cost and environment-friendly materials for consumer electronics.

 

Overview:

Transparent and Conducting Substrates (TCS) is one of the major components for consumer electronics such as flat panel displays, smart phone, touch screen, low-emissivity energy-conserving windows, photo-electrochemical device and more importantly in solar cells. This project focuses on the use of low cost and environment-friendly materials for the facile fabrication process of highly transparent and conducting substrates/electrodes for the optoelectronic and photonics industry.

Objectives:

  • To develop processes for the facile fabrication of doped and non-doped Binary/Ternary metal oxides, AZO, FTO, NiO and Graphene(reduced Graphene oxide).
  • Optimization of physical and chemical properties of synthesized TCS and study of their performance compared to the commercial TCS.
  • Production of the Graphene and reduced Graphene oxide conducting ink for the energy storage and corrosion protection coating.

Figure 3: Highly textured and well-faceted Cu2O oxide thin films grown by a home-built 2-electrode Electrodeposition setup. The image on the left is showing XRD (textured Cu2O at three cathodic potentials), Photographs, SEM images, of the products are shown in the inset. The image on the top right (200) textured Cu2O at various cathodic potentials and bottom-right UV-VIS-NIR transmission of the deposited product.

 

Related Publications: click  here 1 & 2 

 

R&D Project-03(BCSIR Ref.#D-53):

Construction of Low-cost equipment for developing Standard Test Methods for Measuring Electrical Conductivity of Liquid and Solid Materials

 

Overview:

Electrical conductivity is one of the inherent properties of any substance based on which they are classified as metal, semiconductor, insulator as well as dielectric materials. The electrical conductivity of a specific material, for example, semiconductor, depends primarily on the impurities (e.g, doping), defects and grain boundary of the bulk material. Furthermore, the magnitude of electrical conductivity (or, resistivity) depends on the state/phase (e.g., liquid, solid etc), structure, morphology and chemical composition of materials being tested. The conductance measurement spans many different ranges which require the different probing techniques of the test sample as well as sensitive equipment to reduce error and to improve measurement accuracy. Therefore, this project mainly deals with the design, construction, and development of low-cost equipment as well as the development of standard testing methods (STMs) for measuring the conductivity of diverse materials using our low cost home-built equipment.

Objectives:

  • To develop STMs for measuring the electrical conductivity of our research samples as well as samples received from the public and private stakeholders.
  • To validate the testing methods using home-built equipment that ‘fit-for-purpose’ of different stakeholders.
  • To locally construct/fabricate custom-made affordable test equipment for research institutes as well as for college/university science laboratories.

 

 

Figure 3: (a) Universal Test Jig, (b) Adaptors for solid and liquid samples, (c) Sensitive Ultra-high and ultra-low resistivity measurement setup for thin and thick films, and (d) A preliminarily designed proto-type portable (vacuum pump free) spin-coater for depositing conducting thin films.

 

 

Principal Investigator:

Dr. Syed Farid Uddin Farhad, Senior Scientific Officer (SSO), Energy Conversion and Storage Research Section, Industrial Physics Division, BCSIR Laboratories, Dhaka.

For further information about research Scope, facilities and potential research collaboration(s), please contact at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                 Last updated : 21 February, 2019

 

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