Researchers have established a new quantitative model that connects molecular interactions in organic solar-cell materials to device performance. The work suggests a way to quickly identify ideal material mixtures and processing methods, bypassing trial-and-error strategies and minimizing labor-intensive synthesis. Read more »
Lead halide perovskites have emerged as high-performance photovoltaic materials, demonstrating remarkably rapid improvements in efficiency. In situ printing and time-resolved x-ray characterization have provided new insights into the relationship between device efficiency, perovskite crystallinity, and film morphology. Read more »
Researchers designed DNA sequences that self-assemble into a nanoparticle about 50 nm long, composed of two double-stranded DNA duplexes linked together by a single-stranded DNA filament. The nanoparticle resembles nunchaku—a traditional weapon of several martial arts—but 30 million times smaller. Read more »
Scientists have shown that self-assembled superlattices, made up of nanoparticles with polymer chains grafted onto their surfaces (“hairy nanoparticles,” or polymer “brushes”), can be tailored to exhibit desired characteristics for applications ranging from nano- to biotechnology. Read more »
With the help of four different ALS beamlines, scientists were able to understand and improve the morphology of the main device structure in organic photovoltaic cells. Read more »
Researchers have made significant headway in the quest to convert CO2 into valuable chemical products such as fuels, pharmaceuticals, and plastics. Recent work at the ALS has shown MOFs and COFs as a valuable new class of CO2 reduction catalysts. Read more »
Threads made from organic molecules linked by strong covalent bonds were used to weave a 3D covalent organic framework with unusual dynamical and mechanical properties. This molecular weaving method will enable the production of materials with increased precision and functionality. Read more »
Using in situ x-ray characterization and a custom-made slot-die coater at Beamline 7.3.3, the cross-linking of polymer molecules in the active layer of an organic solar cell during the printing process could be observed.
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In an ongoing effort to build closer working relationships between Berkeley Lab’s light source and nanoscale science research center, Elaine Chan has recently been appointed by the ALS and the Molecular Foundry to a new role as joint ALS/Foundry project scientist. Chan’s mission will be to foster collaborations between the two facility’s users and to communicate a wider understanding about how the two research centers are mutually scientifically beneficial. Read more »
Printable plastic solar cells are a potential source of inexpensive renewable energy, but the transition from lab to factory results in decreased efficiency. Now, for the first time, a miniature solar-cell printer installed in a beamline allows researchers to use x-ray diffraction and scattering to figure out why.
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