University of Minnesota
School of Physics & Astronomy

Condensed Matter Seminar

Thursday, December 6th 2007
1:25 pm:
Condensed Matter Seminar in 210 Physics
Speaker: Russell Holmes,CEMS, U of M
Subject: Small molecular weight organic photovoltaic cells – Recent progress, current challenges, and future potential

Organic materials have received considerable attention in the context of future sources of inexpensive, renewable energy. Photovoltaic devices constructed from organic thin films are amenable to high throughput processing techniques using lightweight and flexible substrates, potentially enabling the low-cost fabrication of large area devices. While qualitatively similar to their inorganic semiconductor counterparts, the van der Waals bonding of organic solids leads to the formation of excitonic bound states upon optical excitation. As such, architectures for photoconversion must dissociate the exciton into its constituent charge carriers. This additional requirement for efficient operation is an important consideration in the design of candidate active materials and device architectures. This talk will examine recent progress in the development of organic photovoltaic cells, as well as the potential for further improvement in device performance and an improved understanding of device physics.

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