1st CROSS-JASRI Workshop
– New Opportunities for Neutrons and SR in Solar Battery R&D –
7 February 2012
In their respective roles as Registered Institution for J-PARC and SPring-8, CROSS-Tokai and JASRI co-hosted in Tokyo the 1st CROSS-JASRI Workshop on Monday the 16th of January, 2012.
In this first joint workshop, attention was focused on solar battery research – an emerging and potentially vital technology in the future energy mix. More than 30 facility staff, users and experts in the field gathered to explore new ways in which neutrons and synchrotron radiation could be practically applied to the problems currently being faced in solar battery research.
The meeting opened with a presentation by Prof. Yasuhiko Fujii (Director, CROSS-Tokai) who introduced CROSS-Tokai and described its role at J-PARC. Prof. Yoshio Ohshita (Toyota Technological Institute) then spoke about the remarkable recent progress in solar battery technology being made in China and Korea, and the need to reduce cost in order for the technology to be economically viable: in particular, the need to reduce the cost of the silicon component of solar batteries and how unit cost of power generation could be decreased by increasing the electrical conversion efficiency in the batteries.
Mr Kyoutaro Nakamura (Deputy Director, Solar Systems Development Division, Sharp Corp.) brought a valuable industry perspective to the discussion pointing out the factors that currently prevent the wider roll-out of solar batteries: high cost, low efficiency and limited materials.
From a facility standpoint, Dr Noboru Yoshida (CROSS-Tokai) spoke about neutron reflectivity and its ability to determine such material properties as surface roughness and Dr Ichiro Hirosawa (Industrial Utilization Promotion Section, SPring-8) described the recent increase in the number of organic thin-film research proposals and opportunities for the complementary use of neutrons and synchrotron radiation.
The presentations prompted numerous questions and sparked a lively exchange of ideas between the workshop participants that continued well beyond the allotted time. CROSS and JASRI look forward to hosting similar joint workshops on Industry-relevant themes in the future.