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Hooman Heads to Italy

IHD Resident Hooman travelled to Rome, Italy in early May to attend the nanoGe 11th International Conference on Hybrid and Organic Photovoltaics (HOPV19). Not only was this his first time in ‘Caput Mundi’ (the Capital of the World), but he also walked away with a win for all the hard work he has put into his PhD over the past two years.

Photovoltaics (PV) is the conversion of light into electricity using semiconducting materials that exhibit the photovoltaic effect, a phenomenon studied in physics, photochemistry, and electrochemistry. A photovoltaic system employs solar panels, each comprising of several solar cells, which generate electrical power. Solar PV has specific advantages as an energy source: once installed, its operation generates no pollution and no greenhouse gas emissions, it shows simple scalability in respect of power needs.

While HOPV19 focuses on providing scientists and engineers from around the world with the opportunity to share and discuss the latest developments in hybrid and organic PV, the keynote speakers and overall experience meant so much more to Hooman.

“It also offers the ability for researchers to show their work to other participants,” Hooman said. “The conference was fruitful, as I got a lot of new ideas about my field. However, some of the experimental works from Cambridge University have helped me to develop a new idea about increasing perovskite solar cell stability by simulation, which I will work on that in the near future.”

“A lot of famous and prolific professors attended the conference. The attendance of Prof. Miyasaka, from the Toin University of Yokohama in Japan, who previously introduced perovskite solar cells to the world for the first time, was very interesting for me.”

“Being a part of this conference gave me a lot of motivation to work harder in my research. Especially when I see other researchers from around the world working on the same field as myself.”

Perovskites are a class of materials that share a comparable structure, which displays numerous properties such as superconductivity. These easily synthesised materials are considered the future of solar cells, as their distinctive structure makes them perfect for enabling low-cost, efficient PVs. They are also predicted to play a role in next-gen electric vehicle batteries, sensors and lasers.

Leading up to the Conference, participants had the chance to present their research in a poster format. A panel of prestigious referees selected winners, of which Hooman was one.

“I presented a poster entitled ‘Study of Diffusion Length of Charge Carriers in Perovskite Solar Cells’,” he said. “My entry was awarded ‘Best Poster’ of the conference, and I won 500€.”

“I am honoured to have won the highest prize among the competitors from around the world, including those from Oxford and Cambridge Universities. I have much more motivation now to publish more innovative papers and present better work to show CDU as a very bright university to the world.”

High on the back of a win and full of new ideas, Hooman managed to take some time out to explore Rome. After all, the fresh Spring air of Rome and the buzzing food culture is an experience in itself.

“This was my first time in Rome,” Hooman said. “Rome is really beautiful, and every corner of the city is attractive for tourists. I visited most of the famous places such as the Colosseum, Roman Forum and Pantheon after my conference.”

“Of course, Italian foods are very famous and delicious. It was an awesome experience to eat Italian pizza and pasta in Rome.”

You can read more about Hooman and his time at IHD in this inhouse highlight article.