An evaluation of optical band gap in photovoltaic polymers for solar energy capture

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Ramos-Rivera, Gilberto
Embargoed Until
Suleiman-Rosado, David
College of Engineering
Department of Chemical Engineering
Degree Level
Organic solar cells are a very promising technology for use in the renewable energy field. Band gap measurements on liquid phase for different polymers were studied, and the possible radiation harvest and reasoning for band gap tendencies were established. Polymers were divided into 4 groups: commercial polymers (P3HT, Polyaniline and PTFE), SIBS related polymers, EGMEM, and PEEK, PTBAM and block polymers. Polymers were analyzed by UV-Visible spectrometry and with the Tauc’s method, direct and indirect band gaps were determined for them. Radiation harvest was approximated using the spectral data from ASTM AM 1.5 spectrum and a simple Matlab code. The best results were obtained for SIBS 88, PEEK and PTBAM polymers. Band gap values for these polymers are near values reported for PCBM, which may suggest a similar behavior and performance. Sulfonation, conjugation and structure of these polymers suggest them as good candidates to be acceptor materials on organic solar devices.

Las celdas solares orgánicas son una tecnología prometedora en el campo de la energía renovable. Este proyecto estudia la banda prohibida en fase líquida para diferentes polímeros, su capacidad para capturar radiación y razones para observar tendencias en estos valores. Los polímeros fueron agrupados como: polímeros comerciales (P3HT, Polyanilina y PTFE), polímeros relacionados con SIBS, EGMEM, y PEEK, PTBAM y polímeros de bloque. Fueron analizados por espectrometría ultravioleta-visible, y utilizando el método de Tauc, valores de banda directo e indirecto fueron determinados. Con esto, el espectro ASTM AM 1.5 y un código simple de MATLAB, se aproximó la captura de radiación. Los mejores resultados fueron obtenidos para SIBS 88, PEEK y PTBAM. Sus valores se encuentran cerca de valores reportados para PCBM, lo que sugiere un comportamiento y rendimiento similares. La sulfonación, conjugación y estructura de estos polímeros les sugieren como candidatos a ser materiales receptores en dispositivos solares orgánicos.
Organic solar cells,
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Ramos-Rivera, G. (2019). An evaluation of optical band gap in photovoltaic polymers for solar energy capture [Thesis]. Retrieved from