Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Liquid crystals line up to make self-healing photovoltaic device

Figure 1: Schematic of the liquid crystal molecule (top) and the formed liquid crystal photovoltaic device (bottom). Purple spheres represent the fullerene and yellow/green chains the oligothiophene, the hydrophobic/hydrophilic tails are represented by blue/red lines respectively. Image:Riken
Figure 1: Schematic of the liquid crystal molecule (top) and the formed liquid crystal photovoltaic device (bottom). Purple spheres represent the fullerene and yellow/green chains the oligothiophene, the hydrophobic/hydrophilic tails are represented by blue/red lines respectively. Image:Riken

Abstract:
Molecules containing both electron donors and acceptors have been functionalized with tails that control their arrangement in a liquid-crystal photovoltaic device

Liquid crystals line up to make self-healing photovoltaic device

Japan | Posted on October 31st, 2008

A huge market is developing for small disposable electronic devices, ranging from security tags to point-of-care diagnostics. Many of these devices require a power source, and photovoltaic devices (solar cells) are an attractive option. However, the expense of preparing and processing inorganic semiconductors used in traditional solar cells precludes their use in such applications. Organic photovoltaic devices, meanwhile have great potential in this area; they are relatively easy to prepare and can be processed by simple techniques such as inkjet printing.

Organic photovoltaic devices contain both electron donors, which release an electron when irradiated, and electron acceptors, which complete the circuit necessary to convert light energy into electrical energy. However, mixtures of typical electron donors such as π-conjugated oligomers—short chains of repeated, unsaturated, organic molecules, with alternating double and single bonds—and electron acceptors, such as C60 (buckminsterfullerene), have a tendency to form alternating stacks that results in lower efficiency. A partial solution is to directly attach the electron donor to the electron acceptor by a covalent bond and have both in a single molecule, but it is still important to have control over how the molecules pack together.

Now, a team of Japanese researchers including Takuzo Aida from the University of Tokyo and Masaki Takata from the RIKEN SPring-8 Center in Harima have designed liquid crystals—a phase that flows like a liquid but has short-range order between the molecules—that spontaneously assemble to form a donor-acceptor array1. "It's important to form separated columns or layers of the donors and acceptors, and to make a large contact area between them," explains Yohei Yamamoto, another member of the team from the Japan Science and Technology Agency in Tokyo.

The molecules they designed feature a fullerene—the electron acceptor—at one end and a thiophene oligomer—the electron donor—at the other. A hydrophobic, or water-repellent, tail is attached to the donor end and a hydrophilic, or water-loving, tail is attached to the acceptor end. This functionalization ensures that the molecules of the liquid crystal line up (Fig. 1) to produce ordered layers of donors and acceptors and results in efficient photovoltaic behavior. "The liquid characteristics are useful as well," notes Yamamoto, "the devices are self-healing as defects in the layer structure can be repaired by a simple heating and cooling process." The design principles developed in this work should lead to the development of high-efficiency organic photovoltaic devices.
Reference

1. Li, W.-S., Yamamoto, Y., Fukushima, T., Saeki, A., Seki, S., Tagawa, S., Masunaga, H., Sasaki, S., Takata, M. & Aida, T. Amphiphilic molecular design as a rational strategy for tailoring bicontinuous electron donor and acceptor arrays: photoconductive liquid crystalline oligothiophene-C60 dyads. Journal of the American Chemical Society 130, 8886-8887 (2008).

The corresponding author for this highlight is based at the RIKEN Structural Materials Science Laboratory

####

For more information, please click here

Copyright © Riken

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related Links

article

Related News Press

News and information

Strength of hair inspires new materials for body armor January 18th, 2017

Self-assembling particles brighten future of LED lighting January 18th, 2017

Dressing a metal in various colors: DGIST research developed a technology to coat metal with several nanometers of semiconducting materials January 17th, 2017

Nanoparticle exposure can awaken dormant viruses in the lungs January 17th, 2017

Discoveries

Strength of hair inspires new materials for body armor January 18th, 2017

Self-assembling particles brighten future of LED lighting January 18th, 2017

Dressing a metal in various colors: DGIST research developed a technology to coat metal with several nanometers of semiconducting materials January 17th, 2017

Nanoparticle exposure can awaken dormant viruses in the lungs January 17th, 2017

Announcements

Strength of hair inspires new materials for body armor January 18th, 2017

Self-assembling particles brighten future of LED lighting January 18th, 2017

Dressing a metal in various colors: DGIST research developed a technology to coat metal with several nanometers of semiconducting materials January 17th, 2017

Nanoparticle exposure can awaken dormant viruses in the lungs January 17th, 2017

Energy

Dressing a metal in various colors: DGIST research developed a technology to coat metal with several nanometers of semiconducting materials January 17th, 2017

Stability challenge in perovskite solar cell technology: New research reveals intrinsic instability issues of iodine-containing perovskite solar cells December 26th, 2016

Nanoscale 'conversations' create complex, multi-layered structures: New technique leverages controlled interactions across surfaces to create self-assembled materials with unprecedented complexity December 22nd, 2016

Safe and inexpensive hydrogen production as a future energy source: Osaka University researchers develop efficient 'green' hydrogen production system that operates at room temperature in air December 21st, 2016

Solar/Photovoltaic

Dressing a metal in various colors: DGIST research developed a technology to coat metal with several nanometers of semiconducting materials January 17th, 2017

Stability challenge in perovskite solar cell technology: New research reveals intrinsic instability issues of iodine-containing perovskite solar cells December 26th, 2016

Going green with nanotechnology December 21st, 2016

Research Study: MetaSOLTM Shatters Solar Panel Efficiency Forecasts with Innovative New Coating: Coating Provides 1.2 Percent Absolute Enhancement to Triple Junction Solar Cells December 2nd, 2016

Printing/Lithography/Inkjet/Inks/Bio-printing

NUS researchers achieve major breakthrough in flexible electronics: New classes of printable electrically conducting polymer materials make better electrodes for plastic electronics and advanced semiconductor devices January 14th, 2017

Nanowire 'inks' enable paper-based printable electronics: Highly conductive films make functional circuits without adding high heat January 4th, 2017

Nanocubes simplify printing and imaging in color and infrared: New technology allows multispectral reactions on a single chip December 15th, 2016

Bumpy surfaces, graphene beat the heat in devices: Rice University theory shows way to enhance heat sinks in future microelectronics November 29th, 2016

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project