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Award Abstract #1252623

CAREER:Increasing charge separation and extraction by ferroelectric polymer induced persisting electric-field for efficient organic solar cells

Div Of Electrical, Commun & Cyber Sys
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Initial Amendment Date: November 20, 2012
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Latest Amendment Date: November 20, 2012
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Award Number: 1252623
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Award Instrument: Standard Grant
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Program Manager: Radhakisan S. Baheti
ECCS Div Of Electrical, Commun & Cyber Sys
ENG Directorate For Engineering
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Start Date: July 1, 2013
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End Date: June 30, 2018 (Estimated)
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Awarded Amount to Date: $400,000.00
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Investigator(s): Jinsong Huang jhuang2@unl.edu (Principal Investigator)
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Sponsor: University of Nebraska-Lincoln
2200 Vine St, 151 Whittier
Lincoln, NE 68503-1435 (402)472-3171
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Program Reference Code(s): 1045, 7423, 9150
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Program Element Code(s): 7607


Research Objectives and Approaches

The objective of this research is to boost the efficiency of organic photovoltaic devices to over 15% by eliminating the major energy loss channels. The approach is to apply an ultrathin ferroelectric layer at the organic/electrode interface to induce a strong electric field into the organic semiconductor layer for efficient charge separation and extraction. With this unique structure, there will be no need to apply an external field to have the electric-field-induced charge extraction persist.

Intellectual Merit

This project provides a transformative device design that promises to increase the efficiency of organic photovoltaic devices potentially to the thermodynamic limit. The ferroelectric polymer is a universal dual function interfacial layer for both low- and high-work function surface modifications. Further, this research will bring new fundamental insight to the physics of charge photo-generation, collection, and the origin of the open circuit voltage in organic photovoltaic devices.

Broader Impacts

New fundamental understanding regarding the influence of a strong electric field on charge dissociation and extraction will establish the theoretical base for new applications in electric field-controlled electronic devices, including organic light emitting diodes, excitonic solar cells, high speed photorefractive polymers, organic bistable memory, organic photodetectors, organic transistors, and multiferroics. This research will support outreach activities for students diversified in age, gender, and ethnicity. This platform of learning, which particularly targets high school students, will encourage students to consider careers in the energy conversion engineering field and provide the PI the experience necessary to develop into a stellar teacher-scholar.


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Y. Yuan, Z. Xiao, B. Yang, and J. Huang*. "Arising Applications of Ferroelectric Materials in Photovoltaic Devices," Journal of Material Chemistry A, 2014.

Qi Wang, Yuchuan Shao,H. Xie, L. Lyu, Yongli Gao and Jinsong Huang. "Qualifying Composition Dependent p and n Self-doping in CH3NH3PbI3," Applied Physics Letters, v.105, 2014, p. 163508.

Bin Yang, Zhengguo Xiao and Jinsong Huang. "Polymer Aggregation Correlated Transition from Schottky-junction to Bulk Heterojunction Organic Solar Cells," Applied Physics Letters, 2014.

B. Yang, F. Guo, Y. Yuan, Z. Xiao, Y. Lu and J. Huang*,. "Fullerene Based Organic Schottky-Junction Devices for Large Open Circuit Voltage Organic Solar Cells," Advanced Materials, v.25, 2013, p. 572.

H. Zhu, Z. Xiao, D. Liu, Y. Li, N. J. Weadock, Z. Fang, J. Huang, and L. Hu. "Biodegradable transparent substrates for flexible organic-light-emitting diodes," Energy and Environmental Science, v.6, 2013, p. 2105.

Yuchuan Shao, Zhengguo Xiao, Cheng Bi, Yongbo Yuan, and Jinsong Huang. "Origin and Elimination of Photocurrent Hysteresis by Fullerene Passivation in CH3NH3PbI3 Planar Heterojunction Solar Cells," Nature Communications, 2014, p. 5784.

Z. Xiao, Y. Yuan, B. Yang, J. VanDerslice, J. Chen, O. Dyck, G. Duscher, J. Huang. "Universal Formation of Compositionally Graded Bulk Heterojunction for Efficiency Enhancement in Organic Photovoltaics," Advanced Materials, 2014.

Qi Wang, Yuchuan Shao, Qingfeng Dong, Zhengguo Xiao, Yongbo Yuan and Jinsong Huang. "Large Fill-Factor Bilayer Iodine Perovskite Solar Cells Fabricated by Low-Temperature Solution-Process," Energy and Enviromental Science, v.17, 2014, p. 2359.

Zhengguo Xiao, Yongbo Yuan, Yuchuan Shao, Qi Wang,Qingfeng Dong, Cheng Bi, Pankaj Sharma, Alexei Gruverman,and Jinsong Huang. "Giant Switchable Photovoltaic Effect in Organometal Trihalide Perovskite Devices," Nature Materials, v.14, 2015, p. 193.

Bin Yang, Yongbo Yuan, and Jinsong Huang. "Reduced Bimolecular Charge Recombination Loss in Thermally Annealed Bilayer Heterojunction Photovoltaic Devices with Large External Quantum E?ciency and Fill Factor," J. Phys. Chem. C, v.118, 2014, p. 5196.

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