A research group at the Swedish Chalmers University will collaborate with a group from Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia, on the synthesis and characterization of graphene-polymer composites for solar cell applications. The collaborative project will be funded by the Swedish Research Council through the motto Swedish Research Links, and continues 20 years of collaboration between the two universities.
The role of the polymer will be to harvest the energy from the sun, with graphene as the conductive part of the solar cell. Today, commonly used materials for conduction are fullerenes which, like graphene, are a kind of crystallized carbon. The problem with fullerenes, however, is that they are expensive and also are not stable enough to work efficiently in solar cells.