The materials, created by scientists with the ASRC's Nanoscience Initiative, use a process called singlet fission to produce and extend the life of harvestable light-generated electrons. The discovery is described in a newly published paper in the Journal of Physical Chemistry. Early research suggests these materials could create more usable charges and increase the theoretical efficiency of solar cells up to 44 percent.
"We modified some of the molecules in commonly used industrial dyes to create self-assembling materials that facilitate a greater yield of harvestable electrons and extend the electrons' xcited-state lifetimes, giving us more time to collect them in a solar cell," said Andrew Levine, lead author of the paper and a Ph.D. student at The Graduate Center.
Process - Levine - Dye - Molecules - Way
The self-assembly process, Levine explained, causes the dye molecules to stack in a particular way. This stacking allows dyes that have absorbed solar photons to couple and share energy with -- or "excite" -- neighboring dyes. The electrons in these dyes then decouple so that they can be collected as harvestable...
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