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  • Final Activity Report Summary - SOLARNTYPE (Development of n-type polymer materials used as alternative to soluble C60 derivatives and their use in organic solar cells)

Final Activity Report Summary - SOLARNTYPE (Development of n-type polymer materials used as alternative to soluble C60 derivatives and their use in organic solar cells)

The SOLARNTYPE project involved 10 partners from 7 different countries, including one industrial partner: Interuniversitair Micro-Electronica Centrum vzw - IMEC - Belgium (Co-ordinator) Universidad Autonoma de Madrid - UAM - Spain Technische Universiteit Eindhoven - TUE - The Netherlands Max Planck institute for Polymer research - MPIP - Germany Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche - CNR - Italy Universiteit Hasselt - UHasselt - Belgium Johannes Kepler Universität Linz - LIOS - Austria Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg - UWUERZBURG - Germany Konarka A. Forschungs - U. Entwicklungsges. m.b.h - Konarka A. - Austria Institute of Physical Chemistry of the Polish Academy of Science - IChF-PAN - Poland.

The Marie Curie Research Training Networks SOLARNTYPE provided training and research experience to 27 young researchers from whom 55% were females (12 ER and 15ESR ) giving them the opportunity to spend between three months to three years in another country as part of an international high-quality research project.

The SOLARNTYPE project has offered a unique opportunity of testing a wide panel of alternative electron acceptors for application in organic solar cells. The diversity of the materials developed and synthesized by the partners involved in chemistry, the complementarities of the techniques available in the physics groups, and the possibility to exchange and discuss the results with experts of various fields has created the synergy that enabled the consortium to reach a deeper understanding of those materials, their potential, their limitations and how to improve them. The best example is the case of small molecules which despite some favourable energy levels performed rather poorly when used in solar cells. Our photophysic and charge transport studies enabled to rule out charge generation and charge transport problems, as well as to suspect morphology in the blend as a main limiting factor. This discovery had two important consequences: - The design of small molecule within the project was re-thought to fit with applications where morphology plays a role less important. The Interunviversitair Micro-Electronica Centrum (IMEC) reached 4% efficiency using a perfluorinated subphthalocyanine dimer as acceptor material. synthesised by Universidad Autonoma de Madrid (UAM).

The research for new acceptor materials for bulk heterojunction solar cells was focused on the acceptor polymers, which enabled to improve the efficiency of bulk heterojunction solar cells between one and two orders of magnitude. Solar cells using perylene based polymers synthesized by Consiglio Nationale delle Ricerche (CNR/ismac) reached above 1.5% efficiency, which is at the edge of the world state-of-the art for polymer/polymer solar cells. Another very important aspect of the SOLARNTYPE project is that the understanding of those materials made necessary the development of new experimental techniques as:
Field dependent photoluminescence quenching to detect the binding energy of excitons,
Transient absorption spectroscopy, both developed by Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg (UWUERZBURG).

For our ESR and ER young researchers, the SOLARNTYPE project was a priceless opportunity to establish lots of formal and informal contacts with the current most significant actors of the field. Inside the project, were they had the unique chance to collaborate with, to understand and to get known by some of the groups and leaders on the cutting edge of the field of organic electronics in Europe and, with the other young researchers who will be the future main actors of the field.

Outside of the project, particularly thanks to the presentations of their results at international conferences and publications in journals worldwide recognised. In addition our young researchers of SOLARNTYPE had the opportunity during these 4 years to follow non-scientific trainings as foreign language courses. For further information about the project:

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