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Date of Award

2-2009

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program

Chemistry

First Advisor

Sankaran Thayumanavan

Second Advisor

Dhandapani Venkataraman

Third Advisor

Michael D. Barnes

Subject Categories

Organic Chemistry

Abstract

Organic photovoltaics (OPVs) that have been studied to date have poor power conversion efficiencies. This dissertation focuses on various molecular designs that could lead to both a fundamental understanding of photoinduced charge separation at a molecular level and also provide a solution to improve bulk properties of organic materials to overcome the poor efficiencies of OPV devices.

The effect of molecular architectures on the efficiency of electron transfer, a primary step in OPVs functioning, is evaluated in this work. We have shown that even though dendrimer provides an interesting architecture for efficient electron transfer due to the presence of multiple peripheries around a single core, this architecture leads to trapping of charge at the dendritic core. This results in a decrease in the electron transfer efficiency in solution and also limits the possibility of charge transport to the electron in a photovoltaic device.

Non-conjugated polymers containing conductive EDOT units at side chains were also designed and synthesized. The frontier energy levels of these polymers can be easily tuned by changing the conjugation lengths of side chain EDOT oligomers. Moreover, by incorporating crosslinkable units as co-side chains, the absorption bandwidth of these polymers can be manipulated as well.

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