Better optical films for solar cells and optical chips

Better optical films which could lead to better solar cells and optical chips are reported at Chromophores have been prime candidates for organic dye-sensitized solar cells, since they emit electrons when light is shone on them. But the new chromophore molecular configuration incorporates quantum confinement into each cell, greatly increasing chromophore efficiency. The current design has just one quantum confinement cell within the chromophore molecule, but Kuzyk claims his group’s theoretical models predict that more quantum confinement areas would result in even greater efficiency. Consequently, next the researchers plan to cascade quantum-confinement cells back-to-back.

The ability to hyperpolarize the new material, according to Kuzyk, enables its molecules to deform as they mediate the merger of two photons into one, opening the door to all-optical switches. Thus the researchers are working to embed the chromophore material into an optically clear polymer that could be formed into a thin film for making and testing optical-chip designs.