Join the ChemE Department for a seminar with Professor Andre Taylor. The title of the seminar is “Meticulous Control on the Nanoscale Toward Enhanced Organic Solar Cells and Improved Multifunctional Materials.”
The architectural design of nanostructured materials into functional composites is of great importance, which could be the key to breakthroughs in emerging technologies and applications. Polymer solar cells (PSCs) is one example where the single junction power conversion efficiencies (PCE) up to 15% have been developed and in some cases with estimated device lifetimes up to 10 years. Traditionally, most PSCs are very dark and therefore are not attractive for use in home appliances and portable electronics. Here I will describe our work on color tunable polymer solar cells by employing an energy transfer dye molecule in a non-fullerene polymer-polymer binary photoactive system. By using a tape stripping technique for selective removal of electron acceptors near the top electrode, I will show how these solar cells can be made highly durable. This opens up a new pathway for organic solar cells that can function under water without encapsulation. Using detailed-balance calculations, I will show that underwater solar cells can exhibit efficiencies from ∼55% in shallow waters to more than 65% in deep waters, while maintaining a power density >5 mW cm −2. Finally, I will highlight some of our recent work on the assembly of 2D titanium carbide nanosheets (MXene) material composites to fabricate freestanding thin films with unique multifunctional properties. The properties of these films can be tailored for high strength, high conductivity, and superior electromagnetic interference shielding.