CISSEM is undertaking a coordinated and collaborative multi-investigator, multi-site effort to explore the basic science underpinning interface composition, electronic properties, and interactions for interfaces formed between disparate (organic, oxide, and metallic) materials. We ultimately aim to apply our knowledge of interfaces to understand changes in device performance for thin-film photovoltaics (PVs), and especially organic photovoltaics (OPVs). We have identified four Major Goals for this research, which help to organize our research effort and promote coordination and collaboration in ways that enhance our impact on emerging thin-film PV technologies, and provide a unique training environment for our students, postdoctoral research associates, and staff:
Goal 1: Develop new theories for charge transfer between molecular semiconductors and electrical contact or interlayer materials.
Goal 2: Develop new methodologies for the characterization of the atomic and molecular composition of interfaces, and new approaches for the nanoscale characterization of electrical and electrochemical properties of these interfaces.
Goal 3: Develop 2-D nanostructured hybrid materials that lead to the formation of chemically and physically robust interfaces, with full control of composition, molecular architecture, and physical properties.
Goal 4: Apply our understanding of interfaces to organic photovoltaic solar cell platforms.
These four goals have been inspired by our previous research experiences and by the goals of the U.S. DOE Basic Energy Sciences, as described in the workshop reports “Basic Research Needs for Solar Energy Utilization ” and “Directing Matter and Energy: Five Challenges for Science and the Imagination.” The CISSEM team includes scientists and engineers from The University of Arizona, Georgia Institute of Technology, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Princeton University, and the University of Washington.