Annamaria Petrozza is Team Leader at the Italian Institute of Technology, a research foundation, where she focuses on the physics of next-generation, low-cost photovoltaic materials combining organic and inorganic components with a great adaptation capacity, to electronic properties. She also works on the development of the optoelectronic devices based on these materials. Petrozza's attention is particularly directed to advanced materials whose peculiarity is the self-organisation of active components, to offer functionalities which go beyond the properties of the individual components.
Her work aims to highlight the optoelectronics mechanisms of the interfaces, which are fundamental for the optimisation of the operational processes, with the objective of improving efficiency and stability of the devices.
Many of these materials have not yet been implemented in solar cells. However, in just two years the new solar technology based on perovskite, a Russian mineral composed of calcium titanate (CaTiO3), has shown 15% energy conversion efficiency in test lab devices, by using lead-based materials.
Petrozza and her team are now developing a full library of semiconductive materials which are widely present in nature, are not toxic, can be processed through printing techniques, for the development of low-cost solar cells. These show high performance (potentially, exceeding those of silicon) and a high integration level (they are flexible, transparent and coloured), as well as light-emission transistors.