Nanostructured Hybrid Photovoltaics
Levi Lentz's Research

Project Description

Silicon is primarily used in the solar-electricity generation markets. While useful for this application, a large amount of processing is required to refine silicon to the point for use in solar applications. Alternatives to silicon are organic semiconductors, brought together in a bulk-heterojunction (BHJ), drawing on the cheap cost of materials as well as low processing requirement to cheaply generate electricity. These materials are plagued by low open circuit voltages as well as low efficiencies due to the inheirant disorder of the atomic structure.

To overcome these issues, we propose utilizing well studied transition metal phosphates to create order to the atomic structure. These materials have been shown to readily form intercalated layers with organic materials, replacing these simple organic materials with polar organic semiconductors a new type of material can be design for solar applications. Using the polarity of the organic region with simple organic functionalization to the phosphate layers, excitons can be efficiently separated with little loss in the open circuit voltage. This simple approach has the ability to drastically increase the efficiency of existing organic semiconducting materials.