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A sunny future: the physics of new materials for solar power.

May 20, 2022 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm


Friday 20 May at 6.00pm 2022, at the Presbyterian Community Centre, 91 Tenby Street, Wanaka.
Dr Michael Price, Victoria University of Wellington.

Solar panels that convert light directly into electricity have come a long way since the discovery of the photovoltaic effect in 1839. Now, silicon-based solar panels are widespread, efficient, and cheaper than ever. However, for the world to meet its climate targets, we will need to generate a lot more solar power than we currently do – by 2030 we need to increase generation to at least ten times more than 2020 levels. New solar technologies could help us greatly in this energy transition. So what does the future of solar power look like?

In this talk I will give a brief history of solar technology. I will describe how solar panels currently work, and give an overview of where today’s cutting-edge physics, chemistry and materials science will lead us in the next few years. I will show how the work I am doing at Victoria University of Wellington will lead to the next generation of new solar panel materials, and talk about the creative ways materials scientists and device physicists will utilise our findings to create more tools for getting to a zero carbon future.

Dr Michael Price grew up in Timaru, New Zealand. He completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Otago, and University of California Berkeley, before doing his PhD under Professor Sir Richard Friend in the Optoelectronics group at the University of Cambridge. His PhD research focused on the optical properties of lead halide perovskites. He worked for the non-governmental organisation, The Smart Villages Initiative, looking at improving energy access in rural areas in developing countries, before doing a Postdoc in Cambridge on conjugated polymer nanostructure photophysics. He is now a Rutherford Postdoctoral Fellow at Victoria University of Wellington in the ultrafast spectroscopy group.


May 20, 2022
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm


Presbyterian Community Centre
94 Tenby Street
Wanaka, New Zealand