DEVELOPING NANOSTRUCTURED INORGANIC-ORGANIC HYBRID SEMICONDUCTORS FOR PHOTOVOLTAIC APPLICATIONS

Project Details

Description

This project aims to develop a unique class of inorganic-organic hybrid semiconductors with strong potential for photovoltaic applications. These materials can be considered as derivatives of II-VI based wide-bandgap hybrid systems, and will be designed to have systematically tunable crystal structures, compositions and semiconductor properties, with band gaps falling in a range specifically suitable for use in solar cells. These crystalline materials are composed of semiconductor motifs of identical size (e.g. chains, single-layer and multi-layer slabs), which are arranged into perfectly ordered arrays via chemical bonds with organic spacers. They demonstrate unusual and numerous enhanced electronic and optical properties that are not achievable in their semiconductor parent bulk, as a result of strong structure-induced quantum confinement. The goal is to research fundamental questions concerning the chemistry and physics occurring at the inorganic-organic interface, which will assist in-depth understanding of the structure-composition-property relationship, and offer guidance to future development of hybrid materials with unique properties. Important educational aspects of this project include strong commitment to student training. %%%Seeking affordable, clean, and efficient energy to replace fossil fuels has become a major global effort to reduce emission of green house gases. Sunlight is a widely available renewable energy source and photovoltaics (PV) is an important power-generating technology that converts sunlight directly into electricity. This research project will provide semiconductor materials with improved performance for solar energy conversion technologies. The materials will be made of both inorganic and organic components, and the blending of the two will lead to a number of enhanced functionalities. By modifying their structures and compositions one can systematically tune the properties of these hybrid semiconductors to increase energy efficiency. The impact of this project is both educational and technological. From an educational point of view, this project will provide unique opportunities for graduate and undergraduate students to directly participate in energy research, and as a result of the involvement of the PI in several campus- and university-wide centers and programs at Rutgers, such as the Institute of Advanced Materials, Devices and Nanotechnology (IAMDN), an Energy Research Initiative (ERI), two NSF funded Interdisciplinary Graduate Education and Research Training (IGERT) programs, and Engineering Research Center (ERC), a more general training and education will be available to students supported under this grant.
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date1/1/0812/31/11

Funding

  • National Science Foundation (National Science Foundation (NSF))

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