Organic Solar Cells: Challenges and Opportunities for Enhanced Uptake
Organic solar cells have the potential to drastically impact the future of the energy industry by offering a light-weight, flexible, partially transparent, and inexpensive alternative to compliment silicon solar technology. However, solar conversion efficiency and lifetime limitations, both of which are lower than that of silicon solar cells, has limited the commercial success of organic photovoltaics. In order to realize their full potential, the materials used in the active layer of organic solar cells must be improved in order to increase both device efficiency and lifetime. This presentation focuses on the small molecule and polymeric alternatives to costly and degrading fullerene materials, typically used as acceptors in bulk heterojunction organic solar cells. Naphthalene diimide was chosen as the acceptor unit, for its high performance in polymeric acceptor materials, and various molecular designs and substituents are explored in order to better understand the complex structure-property relationship of non-fullerene acceptors for organic solar cells.
Kira Rundel is currently in the final stages of completing her PhD in Materials Science and Engineering from Monash University under the supervision of Professor Chris McNeill. Her academic work, centered around the advancement of photovoltaic technologies, is driven by her passion for renewable energy and finding solutions to combat climate change. Outside of the university, Kira enjoys volunteering as a presenter on the BZE Science and Solutions radio show and the vibrant Melbourne coffee scene. She grew up in the desert of Southern Arizona, where her interest in solving climate-related problems was sparked at a young age after learning first-hand the severe consequences that drought can have on fragile desert ecosystems.