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Self-assembled Fullerene/Polymer Solar Cells

from the can-I-get-in-convenient-spray-can-form? dept.
JohnPierce writes "A EurekAlert! news release describes how Virginia Tech researchers from physics, chemistry, and chemical engineering are working with a local company to create self-assembled thin film solar cells. 'This photovoltaic device is created without the use of toxic solvents or expensive instruments and under ambient conditions.'"

5 Responses to “Self-assembled Fullerene/Polymer Solar Cells”

  1. vik Says:

    Any updates since 23rd August?

    Seeing as this was released a month and a half ago, has anyone got any more details yet?

    Vik :v)

  2. kurt2100 Says:

    Fullerine Use

    Their process uses fullerines which are still bleeding expensive to produce or buy (there are companies that make and sell them). A web production facility manufacturing this solar film would use quite alot of fullerines.

  3. vik Says:

    Re:Fullerine Use – cost not a problem

    Fullerenes are expensive per gram, yes. But how many grams do you need to cover a square metre one molecule thick? Well, let's say covering the thing in buckyballs is about the same as covering it with a layer of diamond 10 atoms thick (this is somewhat generous with the carbon). That's about a nanometer high, covering a square metre. The volume of that carbon is 1E-9 m3 or 1E-3 cm3.

    The density of diamond is 3.5g/cm3 so we'd need 3.5E-3g of carbon – just over 3 milligrams. Even at a thousand dollars a gram, that's about 4 bucks per square metre.

    I pay about $800 per square metre of silicon panel.

    Vik :v)

  4. MarkGubrud Says:

    amazing what you can find on the web

    Graupner's home page at VT contains a great deal of informative material: http://www.eng.vt.edu/eng /materials/faculty/graupner.html.

    The paper from the August ACS meeting, from which the press release stemmed, is not available, but here is the text of the abstract:

    Conjugated molecules are built by a sequence of carbon atoms with an alternating series of single and double bonds connecting them. The energetic distance between the highest occupied molecular orbital (HOMO) and the lowest unoccupied molecular orbital (LUMO) is determined by two influences: (1) the number of interacting double bond, denoted as the effective conjugation length and (2) the strength of interaction between these double bonds which is mainly determined by their relative positions with respect to each other. Therefore the electronic properties of conjugated molecules can easily be tuned by varying the chemical composition. The tuning of HOMO and LUMO and various ways of influencing the nanomorphology of the molecular films are discussed with the focus of efficient charge generation. The talk will concentrate on particular optoelectronic devices and techniques to probe efficient charge generation in organic devices with the particular goal of photovoltaic devices in mind.

    As you can see, this is basic research, not a breakthrough just in time to solve the oil crisis.

  5. GReynolds Says:

    Interesting point

    It's amazing what one can learn by just doing the math! :)

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