Laboratory of Nano-Bioengineering of NRNU MEPhI leads a joint Russian–Japanese project on designing next-generation solar cells

The application for a three-year project on Hybrid Graphene–Quantum Dot 2D Structures with Controlled Optical and Photoelectrical Properties and Their Photovoltaic Applications submitted by an international team of researchers from the Laboratory of Nano-Bioengineering (LNBE) of NRNU MEPhI, Department of Chemical Science and Technology of Hosei University (Japan), and ITMO University (Russia), under the lead of Prof. Igor Nabiev, head of LNBE, has won a grant competition in the framework of the R&D Federal Target Program for bi- and multilateral international collaboration of the RF Ministry of Education and Science.

The goal of the project is to develop a novel nanostructured hybrid material with controlled optical and photoelectric properties to be used in solar cells. Its ultimate result will be a prototype solar cell with an enhanced efficiency compared to the state of the art.

The new material will consist of a thin graphene plate—a crystalline carbon film one atom thick—covered with a densely packed layer of quantum dots, fluorescent semiconductor nanocrystals. Graphene possesses unique properties, including a high electric conductivity, which makes it a promising material for nanoelectronics. Quantum dots, which absorb light in a wide spectral range, are efficient concentrators of solar energy. The electric potential can be generated as a result of nonradiative charge carrier transfer from quantum dots to graphene. The structure of the hybrid material to be designed should ensure efficient transfer of the energy absorbed by quantum dots to graphene to ensure a high electric potential.

The authors of the project are planning to design competitive prototype next-generation solar cells characterized by enhanced performance due to generation of multiple excitons (electron–hole pairs) in the semiconductor, as well as elimination of the spectral "transparency windows", where solar energy is not absorbed, which are a serious drawback of the existing silicon- and germanium-based solar cells and which quantum dots are free of.


This initiative is an example of collaboration of Russian universities in the framework of the 5-100 Project, in which NRNU MEPhI and ITMO University take part.

The project is covered in detail by RIA Novosti. >>


Maria G. Korenkova, LNBE director of external relations (

Laboratory of Nano-Bioengineering, Moscow Engineering Physics Institute
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