"Design of Semiconducting Polymers with Improved Light Harvesting for Organic Solar Cells"
Grant in Aid of Research
Final Report: "This project was geared toward the design and synthesis of new benzobisoxazole-containing semiconducting polymers with more desirable light absorbing properties for organic solar cells. I was assisted in this project by undergraduate Kyle Leubka, who polymerized the monomers I had made earlier in the year and, after purifying them, characterized the materials using UV-vis spectroscopy and cyclic voltammetry in order to investigate the absorption and electronic properties of the new semiconductors. The novel structural modification that we made to the resulting polymers did indeed cause them to possess a broader absorption spectrum, with improved light absorption in the solar spectrum. The materials possessed the smallest band gap and lowest HOMO/LUMO energy levels of any benzobisoxazole polymer reported to date, all highly desirable traits in solar cell semiconductors. Solar cell fabrication and optimization is ongoing at the moment with early results indicating these new materials may provide greater photo-currents and power conversion efficiencies in cells than previously reported benzobisoxazole-based polymers. I believe the new benzobisoxazole monomer developed in this study may have use in organic light-emitting diodes as well, which Kyle is also helping to explore."