Welcome to the new version of CaltechAUTHORS. Login is currently restricted to library staff. If you notice any issues, please email coda@library.caltech.edu
Published August 2012 | public
Conference Paper

Finding alternatives to critical materials in photovoltaics and catalysis - Part I: Academic perspective


Extension of photovoltaics technol. to the terawatt scale demands that the materials utilized in solar cells be abundant in the earth's crust and amenable to formation of efficient photovoltaic devices. For this symposium on crit. materials and their possible replacement with Earth abundant materials, we will focus on two key areas - photovoltaics and catalysis. We will present new results on Zn3P2 PV devices with improved open circuit voltages and short circuit current densities over previous records for solar cells based on p-Zn3P2/Mg Schottky diodes, as well as advances in Cu2O-based devices. Potential applications will be described, including uses in Building-Integrated PV.In addn., a broad perspective on the use of crit. materials, esp. platinum group metals (PGM's) as catalysis in industry will be reviewed. The chem. industry, in general, is extremely efficient in the use of PGM's and other scarce materials in catalysis. It is important to recognize that various catalyst key performance criteria are much more economically significant than the cost of the PGM, and that many chem. processes have evolved from originally using low-cost metals such as Co to much scarcer metals such as Ir and Rh because the high cost of sepns. and plant capital overwhelm the difference in the price of the metal. Opportunities may exist for further work in the areas of emissions catalysis, hydrosilylation, hydroformylation, and enantioselective catalysis. In addn., supply chain issues relevant to PGM's in catalysis will be discussed.

Additional details

August 19, 2023
October 18, 2023