"Gains in speed, quality and current over conventional production techniques hold promise for both research and commercial production. Professor Guillermo Bazan and a team of postgraduate researchers at UC Santa Barbara's Center for Polymers and Organic Solids (CPOS) today announced a major advance in the synthesis of organic polymers for plastic solar cells. Bazan's team: reduced reaction time by 99%, from 48 hours to 30 minutes, and increased average molecular weight of the polymers by a factor of more than 3.
The reduced reaction time effectively cuts production time for the organic polymers by nearly 50%, since reaction time and purification time are approximately equal in the production process, in both laboratory and commercial environments.
The higher molecular weight of the polymers, reflecting the creation of longer chains of the polymers, has a major benefit in increasing current density in plastic solar cells by as much as a factor of more than four. Over polymer batches with varying average molecular weights, produced using varying combinations of the elements of the new methodology, the increase in current density was found to be approximately proportional to the increase in average molecular weight."
Streamlined microwave-assisted preparation of narrow-bandgap conjugated polymers for high-performance bulk heterojunction solar cells
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