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Organic materials for photonics and optoelectronics

Luca Beverina

Highly-conjugated organic materials for photoconducting, photovoltaic and electrochromic devices

Organic-conjugated compounds have experienced over the last decades a tremendous interest as versatile and highly performing active components in a large variety of devices and applications including, among the others, OLEDs, OFETs, solar cells, sensors, photodetectors, electrochromic devices, anti static coatings and actuators. The vast majority of the above mentioned applications rely on the peculiar nature of the charged states in organic semicondutors, namely: a strong electron-phonon coupling and a major dependence of optical properties on the doping process.

We are currently exploring the ability of carefully designed organic materials to:

  • change colour upon multiple oxidation and reduction processes (electrochromic devices);
  • convert incident Vis-NIR light in electric power (solar cells);
  • show efficient photoconductivity in NIR window (photodetectors);
  • absorb light all over the visible spectrum and convert it to efficient and concentrated NIR emission (luminescent solar concentrators).


Luminescent solar concentrators

The potential of solar power is enormous, yet still largely unexploited because of the high cost of efficient silicon-based solar cells. Moreover, the efficiency of standard photovoltaic devices strongly depends on the light incidence angle and intensity. Luminescent Solar Concentrators (LSCs) could provide cost reduction, while ensuring operational capabilities under diffuse illumination conditions. LSCs are slabs of transparent, high optical quality materials doped with luminescent molecules. The molecules absorb sunlight and emit inside the slab. Since the refractive index of the slab is higher than that of air, most of emitted light is guided to edges and there collected by small area solar cells.

Beverina


Conjugated organic materials for optoelectronics

The development of efficient structure-properties relationships in  -conjugated materials in particular is boosting the emerging field of the molecular electronics, along with other interesting applications in research areas normally associated with standard inorganic semiconductors such as high-speed telecommunication. We have a strong experience in the synthesis and supramolecular ordering on highly performing organic materials for electro-optic modulators.

Other activities

  • Photoresists
  • Organic secondary batteries
  • Singlet oxygen sensitizers
  • Lantanide chelates
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