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Complex Interactions and Mechanisms in Organic Photovoltaics

July 01, 2010 – July 03, 2010

Location: University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia


Organizers: Paul Burn and Paul Meredith, University of Queensland and Ivan Smalyukh, University of Colorado, Boulder

The CIMOPV Workshop will focus on emerging scientific developments in the field of organic photovoltaics and will be held in conjunction with the I-CAMP summer school. The 2nd week of the I-CAMP school will focus on materials for renewable energy. The field of research on organic photovoltaics (OPV) has undergone dramatic growth in the last few years to become one of the most active areas of solar energy research. OPV brings the promise of low-cost solar energy from carbon-based molecular materials using fabrication technology that is amenable to large-scale production. The solar power conversion efficiency of OPV devices has climbed rapidly and now stands close to 8%, which is a value high enough for use in consumer electronic devices. Based on current paradigms of molecular structure and device architecture, efficiencies of 10+% are foreseeable in the near future. However, implementation of OPV in rooftop or utility scale power generation will likely require efficiencies of 15+%. Our current understanding of many underlying phenomena in organic semiconductors is insufficient to provide a clear pathway to this goal.

Currently, key phenomena that are poorly understood include the nature of exciton dissociation at the donor-acceptor heterojunction interface, and a formal description of charge transport that is valid over a wide range of electric fields and temperatures. Of note, correlations in site energies are argued to be important in simulating charge transport, but the origin and impact of such correlations are subject to much debate. Other ambiguous topics include the role of dark carriers in the charge transport process, and the existence and nature of intermediate states in the exciton dissociation process, to name a few. This workshop will focus on bringing forth new approaches and viewpoints in addressing these issues. In particular, examining molecular materials from the standpoint of their complex, multiscale, and perhaps even adaptive properties is an approach that could prove to be very fruitful in developing future macromolecular assemblies that are optimized for use in OPV. This workshop will bring together researchers from a variety of disciplines, including physics, chemistry, materials science, and chemical and electrical engineering to begin to consider the field of OPV from such a new perspective.

The workshop will be held on the campus of the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia on July 1-3, 2010, in conjunction with the I-CAMP 2010 summer school. Participants will include prominent scientists from universities and national laboratories along with students and postdoctoral fellows, with roughly equal participation from junior and senior scientists. The speakers will be specifically asked to emphasize the open/emerging questions, unsolved problems, and potential pathways for novel solutions. Workshop organization will adhere to the Fraunfelder rules, and it will be assured that discussion and presentation will last approximately an equal amount of time. An Outreach Forum will be initiated to allow the researchers to share their experiences and advances in conducting outreach and to distribute scientific knowledge.


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