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Title: Final Scientific/Technical Report – March 2015

The Center for Interface Science: Solar Electric Materials (CISSEM) was funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Basic Energy Sciences (BES) from August 1, 2009 – December 31, 2014 under Award Number DE-SC0001084, as part of a broad set of Energy Frontier Research Centers (EFRCs) designed to underpin the development of economical energy conversion platforms for the 21st century. CISSEM successfully integrated the research groups of 19 principal investigators at The University of Arizona (the lead institution), the Georgia Institute of Technology, Princeton University, the University of Washington, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) into a coordinated and synergistic program, while also building a highly productive collaboration with the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. Our mission was to advance the understanding of interface science underlying solar energy conversion technologies based on organic and organic-inorganic hybrid materials – specifically in organic photovoltaic solar cells (OPVs); and to inspire, recruit and train future scientists and leaders in the basic science of solar electric energy conversion. CISSEM researchers focused on establishing a foundational understanding of the electronic properties of interfaces in area-scalable, thin-film photovoltaic platforms. Metal oxide interlayers used in OPVs to improve the efficiency of charge harvesting at electrodesmore » was our central focus. A key feature of CISSEM research has been our ability to develop a comprehensive understanding of interfaces and interfacial processes at the atomic and molecular scales. This is a scientific foundation for thin-film photovoltaic technologies and our nation’s pursuit of lowering the costs of transforming the sun’s energy into electricity. Our efforts combined: i) theoretical modeling; ii) new materials development; iii) developing new measurement science approaches to characterize composition, molecular and supramolecular structure, band edge energies, electrical properties, and charge harvesting or injection; and iv) integrating our use-inspired new materials and enhanced knowledge of interfaces and interfacial processes into OPV platforms. The strengths of the characterization methodologies developed in CISSEM were recognized within the EFRC network, and were a major component of our interactions with other DOE-funded programs including EFRCs. CISSEM research has resulted in a legacy of 120+ peer-reviewed publications describing our basic science. Much of this highly collaborative research will now be built upon at CISSEM member institutions, with other extramural funding sources. Furthermore, the state-of-the-art facilities and expertise created for modern interface science, especially as they pertain to energy conversion and energy storage challenges, will ensure their broadest continued impact. DOE EFRC funding has positively impacted and enhanced the training and development of more than 140 graduate students, postdoctoral researchers and research scientists at the five CISSEM institutions, and students from three Colorado universities associated with NREL. Our legacy also includes these student, postdoctoral researcher and scientist alumni who have taken positions of impact and responsibility in technology industries, government agencies and academia in the U.S., Asia and Europe.« less
  1. Univ. of Arizona, Tucson, AZ (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Univ. of Arizona, Tucson, AZ (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
Country of Publication:
United States
14 SOLAR ENERGY; 36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; 37 INORGANIC, ORGANIC, PHYSICAL, AND ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY; 77 NANOSCIENCE AND NANOTECHNOLOGY interface science; solar energy; organic photovoltaic solar cells; metal oxide interlayers; charge harvesting; interfacial processes; theoretical modeling; materials development; measurement science; collaborative research; enhanced training