Nanotechnology Now







Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


DHgate

Home > Press > Molecular frameworks show potential for better solar cells

Fernando Uribe-Romo
Molecular building blocks assemble on graphene to provide oriented and ordered covalent organic frameworks.
Fernando Uribe-Romo
Molecular building blocks assemble on graphene to provide oriented and ordered covalent organic frameworks.

Abstract:
Solar cells made from organic materials are inexpensive, lightweight and flexible, but their performance lags behind cells that contain silicon or other inorganic materials. Cornell chemist William Dichtel and colleagues have found a way to synthesize ordered organic films that could be a major step toward solving this problem.

Molecular frameworks show potential for better solar cells

Ithaca, NY | Posted on April 11th, 2011

It's the first time researchers have been able to coax materials known as covalent organic frameworks (COFs) out of their common powdered form into flat sheets of precisely ordered molecules on a conductive surface. That clears a major hurdle toward using COFs to replace the more expensive, less versatile materials used in solar cells and other electronics today.

The research appears in the April 8 issue of Science.

COFs have a variety of properties that are not found in traditional organic polymers, including excellent thermal stability, high surface area and permanent porosity. But while researchers have identified them as intriguing candidates for such devices, they have been hamstrung by the fact that the materials normally exist only as insoluble powders.

Dichtel, assistant professor of chemistry and chemical biology, and colleagues developed a simple process for growing thin (25-400 nanometers thick) films of COFs on a surface of graphene, a single-atom-thick sheet of carbon. They used X-ray diffraction at the Cornell High Energy Synchrotron Source (CHESS) to determine the materials' structure and orientation. The COFs grow as continuous films of well ordered, stacked layers on the graphene surfaces.

Unlike the powder form, the films grown on transparent surfaces can be probed using modern optical measurements. Researchers can also vary the properties of the frameworks by altering the structure of their components.

"These materials are so versatile -- we can tune the properties rationally, rather than relying on molecules to pack into films unpredictably," Dichtel said.

To demonstrate, the researchers created three variations of the frameworks. Of the three, one shows particular promise for solar cells -- it uses molecules called phthalocyanines, which are commonly found in industrial dyes used in products from blue jeans to ink pens.

Phthalocyanines, which are related to chlorophyll, absorb light over most of the solar spectrum -- a rare property for a single organic material.

"Obtaining these materials as films on electrode materials is a major step toward studying and using them in devices," Dichtel said. "This method represents a general way to assemble molecules on surfaces predictably. This work opens the door to take these materials in many other directions."

The research was funded by Cornell and the National Science Foundation.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Media Contact:
Blaine Friedlander
(607) 254-8093


Cornell Chronicle:
Susan Lang
(607) 255-3613


Lauren Gold


Chronicle Online
312 College Ave.
Ithaca, NY 14850
607.255.4206

Copyright © Cornell University

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 News Press

News and information

Feynman Prize Winners Announced! April 26th, 2015

New ASTM Standards Will Help Educate Present and Future Nanotechnology Workforces April 26th, 2015

Heat makes electrons’ spin in magnetic superconductors April 26th, 2015

QD Vision Wins 2015 Bronze Edison Award for Color IQ™ Quantum Dot Technology April 26th, 2015

Thin films

Phonons, arise! Small electric voltage alters conductivity in key materials April 22nd, 2015

Better battery imaging paves way for renewable energy future April 20th, 2015

Graphene

New class of 3D-printed aerogels improve energy storage April 22nd, 2015

'Holey' graphene for energy storage: Charged holes in graphene increase energy storage capacity April 22nd, 2015

Dispersion Stability Test Aids Characterisation of Functionalised Graphene Materials April 21st, 2015

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

SEFCU, SUNY Poly CNSE Announce Winning Student-Led Teams in the 6th Annual $500,000 New York Business Plan Competition April 25th, 2015

Northwestern scientists develop first liquid nanolaser: Technology could lead to new way of doing 'lab on a chip' medical diagnostics April 25th, 2015

ORNL reports method that takes quantum sensing to new level April 23rd, 2015

Electron spin brings order to high entropy alloys April 23rd, 2015

Discoveries

Heat makes electrons’ spin in magnetic superconductors April 26th, 2015

SEFCU, SUNY Poly CNSE Announce Winning Student-Led Teams in the 6th Annual $500,000 New York Business Plan Competition April 25th, 2015

Northwestern scientists develop first liquid nanolaser: Technology could lead to new way of doing 'lab on a chip' medical diagnostics April 25th, 2015

Fast and accurate 3-D imaging technique to track optically trapped particles April 24th, 2015

Announcements

Feynman Prize Winners Announced! April 26th, 2015

New ASTM Standards Will Help Educate Present and Future Nanotechnology Workforces April 26th, 2015

Heat makes electrons’ spin in magnetic superconductors April 26th, 2015

QD Vision Wins 2015 Bronze Edison Award for Color IQ™ Quantum Dot Technology April 26th, 2015

Energy

Pseudoparticles travel through photoactive material: KIT scientists measure important process in the conversion of light energy -- publication in Nature Communications April 24th, 2015

Scientists Use Nanoscale Building Blocks and DNA 'Glue' to Shape 3D Superlattices: New approach to designing ordered composite materials for possible energy applications April 23rd, 2015

'Holey' graphene for energy storage: Charged holes in graphene increase energy storage capacity April 22nd, 2015

Expanding the reach of metallic glass April 22nd, 2015

Solar/Photovoltaic

Pseudoparticles travel through photoactive material: KIT scientists measure important process in the conversion of light energy -- publication in Nature Communications April 24th, 2015

Printing Silicon on Paper, with Lasers April 21st, 2015

Better battery imaging paves way for renewable energy future April 20th, 2015

The microscopic topography of ink on paper: Researchers have analyzed the varying thickness of printed toner in unprecedented 3-D detail, yielding insights that could lead to higher quality, less expensive and more environmentally-friendly glossy and non-glossy papers April 14th, 2015

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