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Grantee Research Project Results

NCER Grantee Research Project Results

Making a Solid State Organic Photovoltaic Cell More Efficient and Economically Beneficial: The Relationship Between Dielectric Constant, Exciton Diffusion Length and Efficiency

EPA Grant Number: SU835300
Title: Making a Solid State Organic Photovoltaic Cell More Efficient and Economically Beneficial: The Relationship Between Dielectric Constant, Exciton Diffusion Length and Efficiency
Investigators: Scott, Dane W
Institution: East Central University
EPA Project Officer: Lank, Gregory
Project Period: August 15, 2012 through August 14, 2013
Project Amount: $15,000
RFA: P3 Awards: A National Student Design Competition for Sustainability Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet (2012)
Research Category: Pollution Prevention/Sustainable Development , P3 Challenge Area - Energy , P3 Challenge Area - Materials & Chemistry

Description:

Objective:

Solar cells are devices that convert solar energy into electricity but are not used in our everyday lives as they have limitations such as cost, availability, stability and they are not efficient. The novel approach to studying this problem will use charged polymeric membranes to increase the dielectric constant of the solar cell with the goal of improving stability, lowering cost and increasing efficiency of solid state organic solar cells.

Approach:

The organic solar cell will be constructed on conductive glass with a positively charged membrane based on poly(2,6-dimethyl-1,4-phenylene oxide), PPO, placed at the positive contact and a negatively charged polymeric membrane based on sulfonated polyethylene oxide, PEO, at the negative contact. The goal is to measure and optimize parameters such as dielectric strength and exciton diffusion length to construct a stable, inexpensive, solid state organic solar cell in order to provide an environmentally friendly method of generating free electricity for use by homes, schools and businesses.

Expected Results:

The novel construction of solar cells should show an increase in the dielectric constant resulting in an increased dielectric constant and exciton diffusion length leading to improved efficiency. This study will measure these parameters in order to optimize the final design of the organic solar cell. This cell can then be used in demonstrations at conferences, meetings, and school demonstrations and serve as a starting point to stimulate interest in methods of generating electricity without consuming natural resources.

Supplemental Keywords:

Alternative energy, Sustainability, Photovoltaics, Polymer Solar Cells, Exciton Diffusion Length, Dielectric Constant, Efficiency

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The perspectives, information and conclusions conveyed in research project abstracts, progress reports, final reports, journal abstracts and journal publications convey the viewpoints of the principal investigator and may not represent the views and policies of ORD and EPA. Conclusions drawn by the principal investigators have not been reviewed by the Agency.

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