New aromatic molecules generating long-lived excitons for efficient solar cells
Most solar cells work on the same principle: a photon generates an exciton, a bound state of an electron and an electron hole, which can then be converted into electricity. Certain organic molecules can generate two excitons from a single photon, thereby increasing the amount of electricity the solar cell can produce when irradiated. A big challenge associated with this so-called singlet fission process is that organic molecules are not stable. As a result, excitons live for a very short time, making it difficult to be harnessed for electricity. The EU-funded EXAM project will take advantage of aromaticity – a property of some unusually stable organic molecules – to design stable singlet fission materials. This new design method can help increase the efficiency of solar cells.
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