Directed assembly of nanocrystals for tuneable semiconducting polymer composites

Lead Research Organisation: Imperial College London
Department Name: Dept of Chemistry


Semiconducting polymer/nanocrystal composites are attracting great interest for applications in next generation solar cells, light emitting diodes and photonic materials. They can combine the advantages of both the organic and inorganic components and are based on a wide suite of possible materials and structures with potential for low cost manufacture. Controlling the structural arrangements (morphology) of semiconducting polymer/nanocrystal composites is a key challenge that has major implications for next generation optoelectronic devices. These devices detect and control or emit light. Here, we focus on semiconducting polymer/nanocrystal composites with potential solar energy applications. Building on our proof-of-principle study we aim to combine control of nanocrystal geometry and composition with their spatial arrangements within semiconducting polymer/nanocrystal composites to establish solar cells with improved efficiencies. We will construct new nanocrystals and establish new methods for achieving precisely controlled morphologies within polymer/nanocrystal composites using approaches that are scaleable and potentially low cost. A successful outcome to this study would result in a step-change in polymer/nanocrystal composite morphology control and a new generation of high efficiency polymer/nanocrystal solar cells.


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Aristidou N (2015) The Role of Oxygen in the Degradation of Methylammonium Lead Trihalide Perovskite Photoactive Layers. in Angewandte Chemie (International ed. in English)

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Bear JC (2015) Nanoparticle-sulphur "inverse vulcanisation" polymer composites. in Chemical communications (Cambridge, England)

Description Hybrid organic-inorganic nanocomposites are attracting huge interest for range of applications such as solar cells, light emitting diodes and photonics. The ability to control the (i) structural morphology of the hybrid composite and (ii) interface function, are key challenges that have major implications for next generation optoelectronic devices. In this project, we focused on these tasks. Key highlights of this project are:

1) Development of a range of nanocrystal materials with tailored morphology and optical gap.
2) Improving the understanding of the interfacial energetics on electron and hole transfer in organic - inorganic semiconductor films.
3) Improved fundamental understanding of the factors influencing the stability of hybrid organic lead halide perovskite materials and solar cells. In particular, we have reported on the role of light and oxygen on the degradation of methyl ammonium lead triiodide perovskite films and devices.

These findings are expected to impact fields beyond solar cells and will also be exploited in different areas, such as new nanomaterial-enabled technologies.
Exploitation Route The project team have continued to collaborate and have successfully obtained further EPSRC funding to work on hybrid solar cells and in particular perovskite devices.
Sectors Chemicals,Electronics,Energy,Environment

Description The finding have been used to publish a number of papers as indicated in this submission. The project team has continued to work together and collaborate and which has led to further EPSRC funding.
First Year Of Impact 2014
Sector Energy,Environment