LIGHT-CAP: Multi-electron Processes for Light driven electrodes and electrolytes in conversion and storage of solar energy

The intermittent character of solar-energy and the need to store it efficiently is undoubtedly the Achille’s heel of current photovoltaic/energy storage systems like silicon solar panels and big batteries characterized by high costs of installation and maintenance and by large sizes and high weight.

LIGHT-CAP will launch a long-term technological vision in Europe that combines energy conversion and storage into one single compact unit with low volume and weight, based on environmentally friendly and Earth abundant materials. LIGHT-CAP’s science enabled hybrid technology is based on the exploitation of the cooperative electronic properties of zero-dimensional and two-dimensional nano-materials, which take over the role of both the light energy conversion and storage, together with the unique opportunity to accumulate multiple delocalized charges per nanostructural unit after photo-activation. Thus, LIGHT-CAP merges solar-powered energy storage with multi-charge transfer capability. Superior stability of the active components is given by the delocalization of the stored charges with respect to most conventional organic redox couples, and the further gain of prospectively enhanced light-powered energy density.

This disruptive technology will be demonstrated in devices designs analogous to batteries and hybrid electrolytic-like/super-capacitors with the added value of being powered by the quasi infinite availability of the sun.

To this aim, LIGHT-CAP encompasses an interdisciplinary community that will stimulate the genesis of a novel Europe-based innovation eco-system around the new technological paradigm with a direct impact on portable and mobile electronics, simultaneously setting the basis for its future exploitation in large area systems too. The achievement of the LIGHT-CAP’s ambitious objectives will contribute to a future sustainable and zero-emission energy landscape in Europe.

Partners: Fondazione Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT), École Polytecnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Technische Universität Dresden (TUD), Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen (JLU), Politecnico Di Milano (POLIMI), Fundación IMDEA Energía
Funding Institution/Program: The project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 101017821
Call: H2020-FETPROACT-2018-2020 – FET Proactive: Boosting emerging technologies (Topic: FETPROACT-EIC-07-2020)
Type of action: Research and Innovation Action (RIA)
Period: January 2021 – December 2024
Principal researcher: Dr. Rebeca Marcilla