Solar cells

Electronic conduction (Solar Cells, Flexible Electronics): We aim to develop improved semiconducting polymeric materials for optoelectronic applications, particularly photovoltaic systems, via careful control of the semiconducting phase nanostructure. These well-defined systems will be used to achieve a better understanding and characterization of charge separation an charge transport within semi-conducting polymeric matrices, essential requirements for the development of photovoltaic devices with increased energy conversion efficiency. The photovoltaic effort will be divided into design of polymer structures with tailored electronic properties (charge carrier mobility, band gap, etc.) and development of controlled nano-scale architectures to improve macroscopic charge separation.

Dye sensitized solar cells fabricated in collaboration with the Li group at UNH

Iodide conductions (DSSC): The dye-sensitized solar cell (DSSC) provides an attractive alternative to solid-state photovoltaics for the conversion of solar energy to electricity. They have received considerable attention due to their relatively low manufacturing cost and simple preparation techniques compared conventional solar cells. Photoelectric conversion efficiencies of up to 11% has been achieved with organic solvent based DSSC’s. However, problems associated to the use of liquid electrolytes, such as leakage, evaporation of solvent, high-temperature instability and flammability, possible desorption and degradation of the attached dyes limit the widespread use of the DSSCs. Many attempts have been made to replace liquid electrolytes with quasi-solid/solid-state electrolytes, such as ionic liquid-based gel electrolytes, gel polymer electrolytes (GPEs) and solid polymer electrolytes. Although relatively high efficiencies have been accomplished with solid polymer electrolytes, solvent absence in the electrolyte leads to problems, such as crystallization of the iodide salt and, consequently, deterioration of the cell. An attractive alternative is the use of gel polymer electrolytes on the boundary between liquid and solid electrolytes

Sokolov, A., Atahan-Evrenk, S., Mondal, R., Akkerman, H.B., Sanchéz-Carrera, R.S., Granados-  Focil, S., Schrier, J., Mannsfeld, S.C.B.,  Zoombelt, A.P.,  Bao, Z., and Aspuru-Guzik, A., From in silico to carbon to device: Computational discovery and experimental characterization of a high hole mobility organic crystal. Nature Communications, 2011, 2, 437. Link

Kokil, A., Renna, A.*, Kumar, J., Granados-Focil, S. Synthesis and Characterization of        

Triazolium Iodide Ionic Liquid Electrolyte for Dye Sensitized Solar Cells. Journal of  

Macromolecular Science, part A, polymer chemistry, 2011, 48, 1022. Link

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