Multi-Block Polymers for High-Performance Organic Solar Cells
Ergang Wang. From Chalmers University of Technology, to: University of California Santa Barbara, USA.
The impending energy crisis caused by the increasing demand for fossil fuels and rapidly vanishing fossil fuel reserves, coupled with the threat of climate change from rising carbon dioxide levels, have put renewable energy firmly on the global agenda. As organic solar cells (OSCs) have the advantages of light-weight, low cost and fast high-volume production, they are regarded as having the potential to provide endless green and cheap electricity from solar energy, contributing to solving the impending energy crisis. However, the non-optimal nanostructure of the active layers in OSCs leads to their low performance and stability, which limit their practical application. This project has the ambitious goal of establishing a newly proposed idea in which novel multi-block polymers can intrinsically self-assemble into a desired nanostructure. The success of this project will overcome the longstanding bottlenecks of OSCs and eventually pave the way for their commercialization, which can potentially develop a huge industry in organic electronics. The MoRE project will provide the opportunity for the applicant to visit UC Santa Barbara, which is advanced in organic electronics research with related industries around. The complementary expertise from the host group will make it possible to jointly solve the challenges addressed in this project. The content of the proposal relates to at least two research and innovation areas prioritized by the MoRE programme: Materials Science and Energy. The project will help the applicant from Chalmers to establish himself as a leader in his research field, to strengthen his competitiveness on organic electronics, and also to establish international alliances between Region Västra Götaland and UCSB as well as the surrounding industries.
Project Summary Results
The project proposed a new concept that can largely boost the efficiency and stability of polymer solar cells. At the end of the project, we have preiiminary results to prove that the new concept works and more than 10 high quality papers were published. More Important, in collaboration with the host in UCSB, we developed the idea further and finally, the applicant, Dr. Ergang Wang got the prestigious Wallenberg Academy Fellowship in 2017 (12.5 MSEK). Dr. Wang used this opportunity extended his network in both academy and industry in the US, which will have a profound influence for his future career development. Dr. Wang also visited several universities and companies in the US, which largely increased of the visibility of Sweden and Chalmers. Dr. Wang has gained new knowledge and competence, which will be very usefui for him to deal with more comprehensive and multi-aspect scientific questions in the future and commercially utilize the results. We will continue with the networks and collaborations established through this project.