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Nano-Engineered Photovoltaic Devices

The goal of this project is to demonstrate a high efficiency solid state organic photovoltaic device based on a nanoengineered active layer that consists of nanocrystalline metal or semiconductor clusters embedded in an organic matrix. Organic-based solar cells hold several advantages over their inorganic counterparts. They can be prepared on flexible substrates such as metal foils, plastics and fabrics. They are light weight, mechanically durable, and compatible with roll-to-roll processes. The current project focuses on developing novel organic/inorganic nanostructured materials using new solid state synthetic tools, and studying the important photo-physical and electrochemical processes for efficient photo-induced charge generation, transport, and collection. Focus will be on photo- and electro-active materials with high absorption coefficients in the visible and near-infrared, good carrier transporters, transparent conducting polymers and metal oxides. Organic solar cells, having the potential of being manufactured at low cost, will provide a renewable source of energy, and will address electrical power needs for the Navy, DOD and the private sector. Applications will range from small handheld and wearable nano-scale integrated electronic circuits to large arrays mounted on ships, aircrafts and satellites. Hence a renewable source of "energy on-demand" will be available for the soldiers and the marines in the battlefield.

Contact the Principal Investigator, Gary Kushto, for more information


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