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Title: Single Molecule Spectroelectrochemistry of Interfacial Charge Transfer Dynamics In Hybrid Organic Solar Cell

Our research under support of this DOE grant is focused on applied and fundamental aspects of model organic solar cell systems. Major accomplishments are: 1) we developed a spectroelectorchemistry technique of single molecule single nanoparticle method to study charge transfer between conjugated polymers and semiconductor at the single molecule level. The fluorescence of individual fluorescent polymers at semiconductor surfaces was shown to exhibit blinking behavior compared to molecules on glass substrates. Single molecule fluorescence excitation anisotropy measurements showed the conformation of the polymer molecules did not differ appreciably between glass and semiconductor substrates. The similarities in molecular conformation suggest that the observed differences in blinking activity are due to charge transfer between fluorescent polymer and semiconductor, which provides additional pathways between states of high and low fluorescence quantum efficiency. Similar spectroelectrochemistry work has been done for small organic dyes for understand their charge transfer dynamics on various substrates and electrochemical environments; 2) We developed a method of transferring semiconductor nanoparticles (NPs) and graphene oxide (GO) nanosheets into organic solvent for a potential electron acceptor in bulk heterojunction organic solar cells which employed polymer semiconductor as the electron donor. Electron transfer from the polymer semiconductor to semiconductor and GO in solutionsmore » and thin films was established through fluorescence spectroscopy and electroluminescence measurements. Solar cells containing these materials were constructed and evaluated using transient absorption spectroscopy and dynamic fluorescence techniques to understand the charge carrier generation and recombination events; 3) We invented a spectroelectorchemistry technique using light scattering and electroluminescence for rapid size determination and studying electrochemistry of single NPs in an electrochemical cell. For example, we are able to use this technique to track electroluminescence of single Au NPs, and the electrodeposition of individual Ag NPs in-situ. These metallic NPs are useful to enhance light harvesting in organic photovoltaic systems. The scattering at the surface of an indium tin oxide (ITO) working electrode was measured during a potential sweep. Utilizing Mie scattering theory and high resolution scanning electron microscopy (SEM), the scattering data were used to calculate current-potential curves depicting the electrodeposition of individual Ag NPs. The oxidation of individual presynthesized and electrodeposited Ag NPs was also investigated using fluorescence and DFS microscopies. Our work has produced 1 US provisional patent, 15 published manuscripts, 1 submitted and two additional in-writing manuscripts. 5 graduate students, 1 postdoctoral student, 1 visiting professor, and two undergraduate students have received research training in the area of electrochemistry and optical spectroscopy under support of this award.« less
  1. Univ. of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Univ. of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
Country of Publication:
United States
14 SOLAR ENERGY single molecule spectroscopy; transient absorption spectroscopy; fluorescence lifetime; dark field scattering; fluorescence; electrochemistry; charge transfer; electrogenerated chemiluminescence