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Award Abstract #1342577

EAGER: Photoconductivity Characterization of Polymeric Nanocomposites

Div Of Civil, Mechanical, & Manufact Inn
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Initial Amendment Date: July 14, 2013
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Latest Amendment Date: July 14, 2013
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Award Number: 1342577
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Award Instrument: Standard Grant
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Program Manager: Mary M. Toney
CMMI Div Of Civil, Mechanical, & Manufact Inn
ENG Directorate For Engineering
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Start Date: July 15, 2013
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End Date: December 31, 2014 (Estimated)
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Awarded Amount to Date: $99,962.00
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Investigator(s): Rebecca Cortez cortezr@union.edu (Principal Investigator)
Michael Hagerman (Co-Principal Investigator)
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Sponsor: Union College
807 Union Street
Schenectady, NY 12308-3103 (518)388-6101
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Program Reference Code(s): 024E, 080E, 083E, 7916, 8025, 9102, 9146, MANU
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Program Element Code(s): 1467


This EArly Grant for Exploratory Research (EAGER) award provides funding to explore the feasibility of using nanostructured particles and thin films as key components in a polymeric nanocomposite suitable for solar applications. The synthesis of the nanocomposite polymers will focus on key constituents in the polymer/nanoparticle matrix that have the potential to aid in the strategic placement of the functional molecules, i.e. chromophores, in a solar cell. This feasibility study will evaluate the photo conversion behavior of the nanocomposite, focusing on photoconductive atomic force microscopy and electrical characterization of bulk solar cell devices as well as examination of the topography and interfacial zones of the nanocomposite.

If successful, the data from this study will provide guidance for the feasibility of water-based manufacturability of nanoparticle/conductive polymer thin film flexible solar materials, and will guide future research into fundamental studies of photovoltaic nanocomposite materials. The effort will contribute to the development of a new strategy for solar heterojunction materials that is based on the dispersion of customized nanoparticles within conductive polymer arrays using facile self-assembly within aqueous phases. An additional advantage is that the material system would be amenable to inkjet printing and roll-to-roll processing for flexible solar materials manufacturing.


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J.S. Mondschein, A. Kowalski, J.D. Kehlbeck, M.E. Hagerman, and R. Cortez. "Comparative AFM studies of water processable polyaniline films: Influence of reaction time on nanomorphology and conductivity," Materials Letters, v.131, 2014, p. 262.

Isaac A. Ramphal and Michael E. Hagerman. "Water Processable Laponite/Polyaniline/Graphene Oxide Nanocomposites for Energy Applications," Langmuir, v.31, 2015, p. 1505. 


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