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Economical Buffer Layer Boosts Performance of Organic Solar Cells
New compositions of matter have been invented, specifically organic buffer layer materials that can greatly enhance power conversion efficiency (PCE) of organic photovoltaic (OPV) devices and can effectively functionalize metal electrodes. Conventional-architecture OPV devices made using the new buffer layer have average PCEs greater than 8%, with the highest PCE value exceeding 9.5%. This new buffer layer can be used with Ag, Cu, and Au cathodes, opening routes to all-solution-based device fabrication and roll-to-roll processing. In addition, the new buffer layer materials can be applied at a layer thickness of up to 55 nm, avoiding processing challenges that occur with ultrathin buffer layers and enabling a simplified and reproducible process for device fabrication.
Published: 9/13/2019   |   Inventor(s): Todd Emrick, Thomas Russell, Zachariah Page, Yao Liu
Category(s): Physical Science, Material science, Clean Energy, Devices
A New Processing Technique to Fabricate Polymer Articles with Improved Mechanical and Thermal Properties
This invention provides a new polymer processing technique, termed Melt-Mastication, which improves the properties of commodity semi-crystalline polymers, such as polypropylene. Compared with conventional methodology for processing polymers, Melt-Mastication creates unique microstructures in the polymer material, which results in improved mechanical and thermal properties of the polymer material and enables commodity polymers to compete with more costly materials in a variety of industries.

Published: 9/13/2019   |   Inventor(s): Alan Lesser, E. Bryan Coughlin, Brian Cromer
Category(s): Material science, Physical Science
Organic Photovoltaic Devices Based on Water-based Nanoparticle Dispersions
This invention provides organic photovoltaic devices fabricated using an environmentally friendly fabrication process. To fabricate a solar cell that will power a smart phone using conventional fabrication processes would require 150 milliliter of toxic organic solvents such as chlorobenzene or xylene. The new fabrication process of this invention uses water-based nanoparticle dispersions of active layer materials, and improves device power conversion efficiency over other aqueous- dispersion-based processes by optimizing the domain size and structure of the active layer and other device elements.

Published: 9/13/2019   |   Inventor(s): Dhandapani Venkataraman, Monojit Bag, Timothy Gehan, Christie Cutting
Category(s): Devices, Engineering, Nanotechnology, Physical Science, Clean Energy
Stablizing Liquid Drops ofof Arbitrary Shapes by the Interfacial Jamming of Nanoparticles
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Published: 9/13/2019   |   Inventor(s): Thomas Russell, Todd Emrick, Mengmeng Cui
Category(s): Material science, Nanotechnology, Engineering, Physical Science
Anti-flammable Compounds and Adhesive Materials
This invention provides new chemical compositions and methods for the preparation of adhesive materials with low flammability. The low flammability is due to newly invented organic/polymeric components used in the adhesive formulation, rather than through the addition of a conventional anti-flammable additives such as halogenated organic molecules or phosphorous-containing structures.
Published: 9/13/2019   |   Inventor(s): Todd Emrick, Justin Timmons, Megan Szyndler
Category(s): Chemicals, Environmental, Material science, Physical Science
Self-Reinforced Polymeric Materials with enhanced Processability and Toughness
This technology provides self-reinforced polymeric materials with greatly improved physical and mechanical properties as well as a unique and simple method for generating these materials. The concept involves using a low molecular weight crystalline compound in a polymer blend to form reinforcing crystalline particles. The presence of the crystalline particles simultaneously improves the impact or fracture toughness, enhances processibility through reduced viscosity, increases or does not otherwise detrimentally decrease the modulus, and lowers the coefficient of thermal expansion, among other improvements. These advantageous characteristics will allow self-reinforced polymeric materials to compete in markets currently using more expensive compounds. Virtually any polymeric material can benefit from this technology.
Published: 9/13/2019   |   Inventor(s): Alan Lesser, Thomas Mccarthy, Onur Sinan Yordem, Joonsung Yoon
Category(s): Material science, Physical Science
Novel Graft Copolymers as Anti-fouling Membrane Coating Materials
When commercially available polymer membranes are exposed to aqueous solutions of salt, emulsified oil droplets, and other particulate matter, their lifetime can decrease catastrophically due to reduction in flux as a result of membrane fouling. This technology provides a new class of graft copolymers capable of extending the lifespan and functionality of water purification membranes. As a membrane coating material, the graft copolymers have excellent hydrophilicity and anti-fouling properties. In addition, they contain UV-activatable functional groups to enable UV-crosslinking of the copolymers, both within the coating itself to impart structural stability and into the underlying membrane to promote strong adhesion. These graft copolymer coatings are highly effective in preventing fouling of water-filtration membranes, and in maintaining the flux levels necessary for efficient filtration. Unlike other coating materials, the anti-fouling graft copolymers do not delaminate from the membrane substrate.
Published: 9/13/2019   |   Inventor(s): Todd Emrick, Kurt Breitenkamp, Ravindra Revanur, Benny Freeman, Bryan Mccloskey
Category(s): Physical Science, Material science
Novel Hydrophilic Conjugated Polymers as Efficient Hole Extraction Layers for Solar Cell Applications
This invention provides novel hydrophilic conjugated polymers that can be used as hole extraction layers in solar cells to enhance power conversion efficiency and solar cell stability. The polymers can be synthesized in water at room temperatures without using toxic transition metals or flammable organic solvents.
Published: 2/28/2019   |   Inventor(s): Todd Emrick, Zachariah Page, Yao Liu, Thomas Russell
Category(s): Physical Science, Material science, Clean Energy
A Simple, Scalable Method for Producing Bicontinuous Jammed Emulsions (or Bijels) with Sub-micrometer Domains
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Published: 9/14/2018   |   Inventor(s): Thomas Russell, Caili Huang, Joseph Forth, Brett Helms
Category(s): Physical Science, Nanotechnology, Material science
Sub-5 nm Full Pitch Lamellar Microdomains by Chemical Transformation
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Published: 8/24/2018   |   Inventor(s): Thomas Russell, Duk Man Yu, Javid Rzayev, Jose Kenneth Mapas
Category(s): Material science, Nanotechnology, Physical Science
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