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Title:Let there be light
Author(s):Sindoro, Melinda
Abstract:How does one harvest the sunlight? The answers are as plenty as the numerous developments of solar cells. Perhaps, a more overlooked challenge is how to harvest the leftover sunlight, those of low energy wavelength that solar cell cannot utilize. We started our project by looking for general approach, independent from the various solar cell designs. The premise is quite simple: photon upconversion. The low energy wavelengths are converted into high energy wavelengths before transferring it back to the solar cell. Here, our interest is to understand the energy conversion efficiency in organic crystals. We are exploring the fundamental principles by designing organic crystals from the molecular level; what is the ideal distance between the molecules? what is the best molecular orientation to direct the energy flow? For these, we tune the crystal lattices akin to those of 3D jigsaw puzzles. Too far apart and the excited light will not transfer, too close and the light is quenched by the crystal. The image shows blocks of organic crystals, uniform in their shapes and sizes, overlaid with the same picture taken under polarizer (right side) where only crystals of certain molecular arrangements shine bright, able to pass the light through.
Issue Date:2015-04
Rights Information:Copyright 2015 Melinda Sindoro
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-04-27

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