Inexpensive, efficient method for manufacturing organic photovoltaics and LEDs
Background The incorporation of active components such as semiconductor nanoparticles into conducting polymer matrices has many potential applications, including electronic materials, photovoltaic cells, luminescent devices, and sensor arrays. By judiciously placing seed points within the conducting metallopolymer materials that the research team has synthesized, they are able to highly control the growth of active components resulting in a conductive polymer matrix. This allows the end user to exploit the enhanced interfacial communication present in these hybrid materials to take full advantage of the properties of both the conducting polymers and the active components in a cooperative and efficient fashion. The synthesis, characterization, and electrochemistry of several new hybrid materials has been accomplished, and the research team continues research on photovoltaic devices.
Invention Description Because the secondary material is seeded from within the conducting polymer, there is a direct electronic contact between the two materials in the resulting architectures. This property distinguishes the present invention from existing technologies that attempt to make hybrid materials through blending procedures which simply mix two dissimilar materials together. As a consequence, the currently available technology is typically hampered by interference issues, resulting in poor electronic communication between the materials. This leads to low efficiencies of charge generation or charge transport
The resulting materials have the potential to solve problems for systems that utilize heterojunction hybrid materials as the active layer. Pertinent examples include solid-state heterojunction solar cells that are plagued by poor efficiency and room temperature solid-state radiation sensors.
Enhanced communication between the two materials that comprise the hybrid architecture. Processing: first materials can be directly deposited on a substrate followed by formation of the second material directly in the matrix of the first (avoids separate synthesis of two materials and blending)
Not limited to surface confinement, electrons can easily transfer through entirety of material
Market Potential/Applications Electronic materials; photovoltaic devices; sensor arrays
Development Stage Proof of concept
IP Status One PCT patent application filed
UT Researcher Richard A. Jones, Ph.D., Chemistry and Biochemistry, The University of Texas at Austin Alan H. Cowley, Ph.D., Chemistry and Biochemistry, The University of Texas at Austin Bradley J. Holliday, Ph.D., Chemistry and Biochemistry, The University of Texas at Austin
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