The first Brightlands Science Lectures were very well attended. The lectures were given January 25 by René Janssen and Karel Wilsens.
On Wednesday, January 25, 2017, Prof Dr. René Janssen presented the lecture “Improvement of Organic Solar Cells“. Since the PV-voltaic solar cell was invented in 1954, we’ve seen substantial improvements in efficiency and drastic reductions in prices. There is interest now in other materials than pure silicon for making solar cells, materials that are more flexible, so these can for example be integrated in walls and roofs. Scientists are investigating the potential of organic materials. Janssen explained how solar cell efficiency is measured, the way organic materials are processed into layers for solar cells and the challenges that lie ahead for the application of these organic materials in solar cell systems.
René Janssen is a Professor of Molecular Materials and Nanosystems at the Eindhoven University of Technology. In 2015, he was one of four winners of the Dutch Spinoza Prize.
Janssen’s lecture was preceded by the Kickstarter Lecture, by Dr Karel Wilsens about “Biobased liquid crystalline polymers”. Conventional strong polymer fibers are made from monomers out of fossil raw materials. Research is now going on regarding alternative monomers made from bio-based feedstock. Wilsens explained how the right combination of these bio-based monomers and crystallization improve fiber strengths and lower the melting temperature.
Karel Wilsens is Assistant-Professor at the Faculty of Humanities and Sciences, Biobased Materials group at the Maastricht University.