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A Mechanistic Approach to Organic Electronics

English title A Mechanistic Approach to Organic Electronics
Applicant Banerji Natalie
Number 150536
Funding scheme SNSF Professorships
Research institution
Institution of higher education University of Berne - BE
Main discipline Physical Chemistry
Start/End 01.09.2014 - 31.08.2018
Approved amount 1'096'417.00
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All Disciplines (3)

Discipline
Physical Chemistry
Condensed Matter Physics
Material Sciences

Keywords (10)

Organic chemical/biological sensors; Organic solar cells; Charge transport (mobility); Signal transduction; Time-resolved studies; Photocurrent generation; Terahertz spectroscopy; Organic field effect transistors; Conjugated materials (polymers); Pulsed photocurrent techniques

Lay Summary (French)

Lead
Notre objectif est de comprendre les propriétés fondamentales de semi-conducteurs organiques utilisés dans des cellules solaires de nouvelle génération, des transistors à effet de champ, et des senseurs biologiques.
Lay summary

L'utilisation de matériaux organiques pour remplacer les semi-conducteurs inorganiques dans diverses applications offre de nombreux avantages: ils sont bon marché, abondants, et des dispositifs souples et légers peuvent
être fabriqués à partir des composés en solution. Une compréhension fondamenetale des propriétés de ces matériaux est par contre toujours manquante. Le développement des applications se fait donc de manière "aveugle". Afin de permettre une conception intelligente, nous étudions en détail les propriétés de sémiconducteurs organiques tels que les polymères conjugués (interactions lumière-matière, processus de transfert de charges, transport, conductivité, reconnaissance moléculaire). Notre approche mécaniste est multidisciplinaire à l'interface de la chimie, de la physique, de l'ingénierie et de la science des matériaux. Il s'agit de répondre à la question centrale de ce qui se passe à échelle de temps ultrarapide et à échelle de longueur ultrapetite, pour induire un fonctionnent macroscopique dans les appareils, et comment cela peut être optimisé. Expérimentalement, nous mettrons en place une palette unique et complémentaire des techniques combinant la spectroscopie résolue dans le temps, des méthodes de photocourant pulsés, des expériences terahertz et des mesures sur dispositifs (cellules solaires, transistors).

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 11.10.2015

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
Comparing the excited-state properties of a mixed-cation–mixed-halide perovskite to methylammonium lead iodide
Brauer Jan C., Tsokkou Demetra, Sanchez Sandy, Droseros Nikolaos, Roose Bart, Mosconi Edoardo, Hua Xiao, Stolterfoht Martin, Neher Dieter, Steiner Ullrich, De Angelis Filippo, Abate Antonio, Banerji Natalie (2020), Comparing the excited-state properties of a mixed-cation–mixed-halide perovskite to methylammonium lead iodide, in The Journal of Chemical Physics, 152(10), 104703-104703.
Key Tradeoffs Limiting the Performance of Organic Photovoltaics
Ramirez Ivan, Causa' Martina, Zhong Yufei, Banerji Natalie, Riede Moritz (2018), Key Tradeoffs Limiting the Performance of Organic Photovoltaics, in Advanced Energy Materials, 8(28), 1703551-1703551.
Femtosecond Dynamics of Photoexcited C 60 Films
Causa’ Martina, Ramirez Ivan, Martinez Hardigree Josue F., Riede Moritz, Banerji Natalie (2018), Femtosecond Dynamics of Photoexcited C 60 Films, in The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, 9(8), 1885-1892.
Charge Generation and Recombination in Organic Solar Cells
Brauer Jan, Causa' Martina, Banerji Natalie (2018), Charge Generation and Recombination in Organic Solar Cells, in Skabara Peter, Malik M. A. (ed.), RSC Publishing, London, 1.
Terahertz Short-Range Mobilities in Neat and Intermixed Regions of Polymer:Fullerene Blends with Controlled Phase Morphology
Krauspe Philipp, Tsokkou Demetra, Causa' Martina, Domingo Ester Buchaca, Fei Zhuping, Heeney Martin, Stingelin Natalie, Banerji Natalie (2018), Terahertz Short-Range Mobilities in Neat and Intermixed Regions of Polymer:Fullerene Blends with Controlled Phase Morphology, in Journal of Materials Chemistry A, online.
Charge migration and charge transfer in molecular systems
Wörner Hans Jakob, Arrell Christopher A., Banerji Natalie, Cannizzo Andrea, Chergui Majed, Das Akshaya K., Hamm Peter, Keller Ursula, Kraus Peter M., Liberatore Elisa, Lopez-Tarifa Pablo, Lucchini Matteo, Meuwly Markus, Milne Chris, Moser Jacques-E., Rothlisberger Ursula, Smolentsev Grigory, Teuscher Joël, van Bokhoven Jeroen A., Wenger Oliver (2017), Charge migration and charge transfer in molecular systems, in Structural Dynamics, 4(6), 061508-061508.
Charge separation and carrier dynamics in donor-acceptor heterojunction photovoltaic systems
Teuscher Joël, Brauer Jan C., Stepanov Andrey, Solano Alicia, Boziki Ariadni, Chergui Majed, Wolf Jean-Pierre, Rothlisberger Ursula, Banerji Natalie, Moser Jacques-E. (2017), Charge separation and carrier dynamics in donor-acceptor heterojunction photovoltaic systems, in Structural Dynamics, 4(6), 061503-061503.
Charge separation in an acceptor-donor-acceptor triad material with a lamellar structure
Rolland D., Brauer J. C., Hartmann L., Biniek L., Brinkmann M., Banerji N., Frauenrath H. (2017), Charge separation in an acceptor-donor-acceptor triad material with a lamellar structure, in Journal of Materials Chemistry C, 5, 1383-1393.
Hybrid Heterojunctions of Solution-Processed Semiconducting 2D Transition Metal Dichalcogenides
Yu X. Y., Rahmanudin A., Jeanbourquin X. A., Tsokkou D., Guijarro N., Banerji N., Sivula K. (2017), Hybrid Heterojunctions of Solution-Processed Semiconducting 2D Transition Metal Dichalcogenides, in Acs Energy Letters, 2, 524-531.
Organic Photovoltaics - Pushing the knowledge of interfaces
Banerji N. (2017), Organic Photovoltaics - Pushing the knowledge of interfaces, in Nature Materials, 16, 503-505.
Salt-Induced Thermochromism of a Conjugated Polyelectrolyte
Peterhans Lisa, Alloa Elisa, Sheima Yauhen, Vannay Laurent, Leclerc Mario, Corminboeuf Clémence, Hayes Sophia, Banerji Natalie (2017), Salt-Induced Thermochromism of a Conjugated Polyelectrolyte, in Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, 19, 28853.
Structure-Property Relations in Polymer:Fullerene Blends for Organic Solar Cells
Banerji Natalie (2016), Structure-Property Relations in Polymer:Fullerene Blends for Organic Solar Cells, in Chimia, 70(7), 512-7.
The fate of electron–hole pairs in polymer:fullerene blends for organic photovoltaics
Causa Martina, De Jonghe-Risse Jelissa, Scarongella Mariateresa, Brauer Jan C., Buchaca-Domingo Ester, Moser Jacques- E., Stingelin Natalie, Banerji Natalie (2016), The fate of electron–hole pairs in polymer:fullerene blends for organic photovoltaics, in Nature Communications, 7, 12556-12556.
The Role of Excitons and Free Charges in the Excited-State Dynamics of Solution-Processed Few-Layer MoS2 Nanoflakes
Tsokkou Demetra, Yu Xiaoyun, Sivula Kevin, Banerji Natalie (2016), The Role of Excitons and Free Charges in the Excited-State Dynamics of Solution-Processed Few-Layer MoS2 Nanoflakes, in The Journal of Physical Chemistry C, ASAP.
Ultrafast charge carrier dynamics in CH3NH3PbI3: evidence for hot hole injection into spiro-OMeTAD
Brauer Jan C., Lee Yong Hui, Nazeeruddin Mohammad Khaja, Banerji Natalie (2016), Ultrafast charge carrier dynamics in CH3NH3PbI3: evidence for hot hole injection into spiro-OMeTAD, in Journal of Materials Chemistry C, 4, 5922-5931.
A Close Look at Charge Generation in Polymer:Fullerene Blends with Microstructure Control
Scarongella Mariateresa, De Jonghe-Risse Jelissa, Buchaca-Domingo Ester, Causa’ Martina, Fei Zhuping, Heeney Martin, Moser Jacques- E., Stingelin Natalie, Banerji Natalie (2015), A Close Look at Charge Generation in Polymer:Fullerene Blends with Microstructure Control, in Journal of the American Chemical Society, 137, 2908-2918.
Charge generation in organic solar cell materials studied by terahertz spectroscopy
Scarongella M., Brauer J. C., Douglas J. D., Fréchet J. M. J., Banerji N. (2015), Charge generation in organic solar cell materials studied by terahertz spectroscopy, in Proceedings of SPIE, Organic Photovoltaics XVI, 9567, 95670M.
Charge Transfer Dynamics from Organometal Halide Perovskite to Polymeric Hole Transport Materials in Hybrid Solar Cells
Brauer Jan C., Lee Yong Hui, Nazeeruddin Mohammad Khaja, Banerji Natalie (2015), Charge Transfer Dynamics from Organometal Halide Perovskite to Polymeric Hole Transport Materials in Hybrid Solar Cells, in The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, 6, 3675-3681.
Using the Stark effect to understand charge generation in organic solar cells
De Jonghe-Risse Jelissa, Causa Martina, Buchaca-Domingo Ester, Heeney Martin, Moser Jacques- E., Stingelin Natalie, Banerji Natalie (2015), Using the Stark effect to understand charge generation in organic solar cells, in Proceedings of SPIE, Physical Chemistry of Interfaces and Nanomaterials XIV, 9549, 95490J.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Prof. Sophia Hayes/University of Cyprus Cyprus (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
- Exchange of personnel
Prof. Alejandro Briseno United States of America (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Prof. Kevin Sivula/ISIC/EPFL Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
- Exchange of personnel
Erjun Zhou/National Center for Nanoscience and Technology China (Asia)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Prof. Ullrich Steiner/Adolphe Merkle Institute Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
Prof. Jean Fréchet/KAUST Saudi Arabia (Asia)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Prof. Mario Leclerc/Chemistry Department/Université Laval Canada (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Prof. Holger Frauenrath/Materials Department/EPFL Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Exchange of personnel
Prof. MD Nazeeruddin/EPFL Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Prof. Martin Heeney/Imperial College Great Britain and Northern Ireland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Dr. Natalie Stingelin/Georgia Tech United States of America (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
- Exchange of personnel
Prof. Riede/University of Oxford Great Britain and Northern Ireland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
- Exchange of personnel
Prof. Thomas Feurer Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
- Exchange of personnel

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
3rd Conference on Advanced Functional Materials (AFM2018) Talk given at a conference Charge Generation in Polymer:Non-Fullerene Solar Cells: A Comparison of Bilayer and Bulk Heterojunction Films 21.08.2018 Kolmården Vildmarkshotellet, Sweden Banerji Natalie;
Visit of the University of Potsdam Individual talk Ultrafast Processes in Organic Semiconductors 01.08.2018 Potsdam, Germany Banerji Natalie;
International Conference on Organic Electronics (ICOE) 2018 Talk given at a conference Dynamics and Local Mobility of Charge Carriers in Photoexcited and Doped Organic Semiconductors 18.06.2018 Bordeaux, France Banerji Natalie;
International Conference on Organic Electronics (ICOE) 2018 Poster Charge Transfer at Donor/Non-Fullerene Acceptor Heterojunction 18.06.2018 Bordeaux, France ZHONG Yufei;
Gordon Research Conference on Hybrid Electronic and Photonic Materials and Phenomena Talk given at a conference Ultrafast Photophysical Processes in a Self-Doped Conjugated Polyelectrolyte 11.06.2018 Hongkong, China Banerji Natalie;
Visit of Max-Planck Institute for Polymer Research Individual talk Charge Generation in Bilayer and BHJ Polymer:(Non-)Fullerene Solar Cells 30.05.2018 Mainz, Germany Banerji Natalie;
SPIE Photonics Europe 2018 Talk given at a conference Charge Generation in Bilayer Polymer:Non-Fullerene Solar Cells 24.04.2018 Strassbourg, France Banerji Natalie;
Excitonics for Photonic Applications Winterschool Talk given at a conference Ultrafast Techniques to Study Charge Carrier Dynamics in Organic and Hybrid Semiconductors 16.04.2018 Les Houches, France Droseros Nikolaos; Tsokkou Demetra; Banerji Natalie;
XXVI International Materials Research Congress Talk given at a conference Excited-State Dynamics and Ultrafast Charge Transfer in Organic And Hybrid Systems 29.08.2017 Cancun, Mexico Tsokkou Demetra;
Regulating the Interfacial Physicochemical Processes of Organic Semiconductors by Design Talk given at a conference Excited-State Properties and Charge Mobility in a Doped Conjugated Polyelectrolyte 17.07.2017 Telluride, United States of America Banerji Natalie;
Visit of the Department of Bioelectronics (BEL) - MINES Saint-Étienne Individual talk Excited-State Behavior of a Polyelectrolyte DNA Sensor 27.06.2017 Aix-en-Provence, France Banerji Natalie;
12th International Conference on Optical Probes of Organic and Hybrid Semiconductors Talk given at a conference Excited-State Behavior of a Polyelectrolyte DNA Sensor 19.06.2017 Québec City, Canada Banerji Natalie;
13th International Symposium on Functional π-Electron Systems Talk given at a conference Charge Carriers in Organic and Hybrid Semiconductors 05.06.2017 Hongkong, Hongkong Banerji Natalie;
Spring Meeting, European Materials Research Society (EMRS 2917) Talk given at a conference Charge Generation in Organic and Hybrid Solar Cells Investigated by Ultrafast Spectroscopy 22.05.2017 Strassbourg, France Banerji Natalie;
Visit of EPFL Sion Individual talk Charge Generation in Organic Solar Cell Blends 20.04.2017 Sion, Switzerland Banerji Natalie;
APS March Meeting 2017 (American Physical Society) Talk given at a conference Charge Generation in Polymer:Fullerene and Oligomer:Fullerene Blends for Organic Photovoltaics 13.03.2017 New Orleans, United States of America Banerji Natalie;
Imperial College Center for Plastic Electronics Winterschool Talk given at a conference Charge Generation in Organic Solar Cell Blends 15.01.2017 Bergün, Switzerland Droseros Nikolaos; Banerji Natalie; Brauer Jan Cornelius;
Materials Research Society (MRS) Fall Meeting Talk given at a conference The Photophysics of a Cationic Polythiophene Biosensor 28.11.2016 Boston, United States of America Banerji Natalie;
European Optical Society Bi-Annual Meeting (EOSAM), TOM7 Talk given at a conference Ultrafast Spectroscopic Investigation of P3HT and Derivatives in Versatile Contexts: From Organic Solar Cells, via Perovskite Photovoltaics to Biosensing 27.09.2016 Berlin, Germany Banerji Natalie;
Zing Conference on Organic Semiconductors Talk given at a conference The Photophysics of Conjugated Polyelectrolytes 22.09.2016 Cavtat, Croatia Banerji Natalie;
SCS Fall Meeting 2016 Poster Ultrafast and Nanosecond Transient Absorption and Photoluminescence Spectroscopy Enlightens the Pathway towards Perovskite Electronic and Photovoltaic Devices (by N. Droseros) 15.09.2016 Zürich, Switzerland Brauer Jan Cornelius; Banerji Natalie; Tsokkou Demetra; Droseros Nikolaos;
Future of Chemical Physics, AIP Publishing Horizons Conference Talk given at a conference Uncovering the Photophysics of Organic and Hybrid Semiconductors 31.08.2016 Oxford, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Banerji Natalie;
Symposium on Solar Light to Chemical Energy Conversion Talk given at a conference Light conversion using organic semiconductors 29.08.2016 Les Diablerets, Switzerland Banerji Natalie;
SPIE Conference “Physical Chemistry of Interfaces and Nanomaterials XV” Talk given at a conference Excited-carrier dynamics in solution processed few-layer MoS2 nanoflakes 28.08.2016 San Diego, United States of America Tsokkou Demetra;
Perspectives on Photonics - Investigating the Route from Materials to Devices Talk given at a conference Properties of Organic Semiconductors, Applications of Organic Semiconductors Interfaced With Biology (by N. Banerji) 25.07.2016 Gstaad, Switzerland Banerji Natalie; Droseros Nikolaos;
Colloquium on Advanced Materials, Centre for Advanced Materials, University Heidelberg Individual talk The Photophysics of Polythiophenes: From Solar Cells to Biological Sensors 14.07.2016 Heidelberg, Germany Banerji Natalie;
Internt. Conf. on Optical, Optoelectronic and Photonic Materials and Applications Talk given at a conference The Photophysics of Polythiophenes: From Solar Cells to Biological Sensors 13.06.2016 Montreal, Canada Banerji Natalie;
Gordon Research Conference on Electronic Processes in Organic Materials Talk given at a conference Ultrafast Spectroscopic Investigation of Polythiophenes: From Organic Solar Cells, via Perovskite Photovoltaics to Biosensing 06.06.2016 Lucca, Italy Banerji Natalie;
Central European Conference on Photochemistry CECP 2016 Talk given at a conference The Photophysics Behind Organic Electronics 14.02.2016 Bad Hofgastein, Austria Banerji Natalie;
NCCR MUST Annual Meeting 2016 Poster Carrier Dynamics and Transport Properties in Few-Layer MoS2 Nanoflakes (by D. Tsokkou) 11.01.2016 Engelberg, Switzerland Banerji Natalie; Droseros Nikolaos; Tsokkou Demetra;
Cavendish Laboratory - Optoelectronics Group Seminar Talk given at a conference Unraveling the Photophysical Properties of Organic Semiconductors 25.11.2015 Cambridge, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Banerji Natalie;
Chemistry Department Seminar, University of Bern Individual talk Photophysical Properties of Organic Semiconductors Used in Solar Cells 01.10.2015 Bern, Switzerland Banerji Natalie;
1st Annual Conference on Perovskite Solar Cells and Optoelectronics (PSCO-15) Poster Investigations on the Initial Photophysics in Hybrid Perovskite-Polymer Solar Cells (by J. Brauer) 27.09.2015 Lausanne, Switzerland Brauer Jan Cornelius; Tsokkou Demetra; Banerji Natalie;
SCS Fall Meeting 2015 Talk given at a conference Unraveling the Photophysical Properties of Organic Semiconductors 04.09.2015 Lausanne, Switzerland Banerji Natalie;
Visit of Naval Research Laboratories Individual talk Charge Generation and Charge Transfer Processes in Organic and Hybrid (Organic-Inorganic) Solar Cell Materials 14.08.2015 Washington DC, United States of America Banerji Natalie;
SPIE Conference “Organic Photovoltaics XVI” Talk given at a conference Charge Generation and Charge Transfer Processes in Organic and Hybrid (Organic-Inorganic) Solar Cell Materials 09.08.2015 San Diego, United States of America Banerji Natalie;
SPIE Conference “Physical Chemistry of Interfaces and Nanomaterials XIV” Talk given at a conference Investigation on the Initial Photophysics in Hybrid Perovskite-Polymer Solar Cells 09.08.2015 San Diego, United States of America Brauer Jan Cornelius;
SPIE Conference “Physical Chemistry of Interfaces and Nanomaterials XIV” Talk given at a conference Using the Stark Effect to Understand Charge Generation in Organic Solar Cells 09.08.2015 San Diego, United States of America Banerji Natalie;
Materials Research Society (MRS) Spring Meeting Talk given at a conference Correlating Charge Generation to Microstructure in Polymer: Fullerene Materials 06.04.2015 San Francisco, United States of America Banerji Natalie;
Materials Research Society (MRS) Spring Meeting Talk given at a conference Using the Stark Effect to Understand Charge Generation in Organic Solar Cells 06.04.2015 San Francisco, United States of America Banerji Natalie;
NCCR MUST Annual Meeting 2015 Talk given at a conference Using the Stark effect to understand charge generation in organic solar cells (by N. Banerji) 12.01.2015 Engelberg, Switzerland Brauer Jan Cornelius; Banerji Natalie;
ISIC Seminar at EPFL Individual talk Microstructural Control of Charge Generation in Organic Solar Cell 11.12.2014 Lausanne, Switzerland Banerji Natalie;


Self-organised

Title Date Place
SPIE Conference “Physical Chemistry of Interfaces and Nanomaterials XV” 28.08.2016 San Diego, United States of America
SCS Lectureships: "Coherent Energy Transfer in Photosynthetic Light Harvesting" (G. Scholes) 14.03.2016 Fribourg (Geneva, Lausanne, Bern, Zürich), Switzerland
27th talk of the Paul Rhyner Foundation 03.03.2016 Fribourg, Switzerland
“Physical Chemistry of Interfaces and Nanomaterials XIV” at SPIE Optics and Photonics 09.08.2015 San Diego, United States of America
26th talk of the Paul Rhyner Foundation 16.04.2015 Fribourg, Switzerland

Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
Talks/events/exhibitions Schweizer Jugend Forscht 2016 Western Switzerland Italian-speaking Switzerland German-speaking Switzerland Rhaeto-Romanic Switzerland 2016
Talks/events/exhibitions Café Scientifique Western Switzerland 2015
Media relations: print media, online media Forum des 100 de l’Hebdo l'Hebdo Western Switzerland 2015
Media relations: print media, online media Freiburgerin erhält Forschungspreis Freiburger Nachrichten German-speaking Switzerland 2015
Media relations: print media, online media Natalie Banerji erhält eine Chemie-Professur Freiburger Nachrichten German-speaking Switzerland 2015
Talks/events/exhibitions Schweizer Jugend Forscht 2015 Western Switzerland German-speaking Switzerland Rhaeto-Romanic Switzerland Italian-speaking Switzerland 2015
Talks/events/exhibitions Stages WINS (Women IN Science and technology) Western Switzerland German-speaking Switzerland 2015

Awards

Title Year
ERC Starting Grant 2016
Prix Grammaticakis-Neumann 2015

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
184819 Bulk and Interfacial Processes in (Doped) Organic Semiconductors 01.04.2019 Project funding (Div. I-III)

Abstract

Our global objective is to understand fundamental material properties (e.g. light-matter interactions, electron transfer processes, charge transport, molecular recognition) of organic semiconductors, mainly conjugated polymers and oligomers, with applications in new generation solar cells, organic transistors and (biological) sensors. The current gap between missing fundamental understanding and the blind development of applications needs to be filled in order to achieve intelligent design of high performance devices. We propose a mechanistic, physical-chemistry approach, but with multidisciplinary scope at the interface of chemistry, physics, engineering and materials science. Our research evolves around the central question of what happens on the ultrashort time scale and ultrasmall length scale in organic solids to induce macroscopic function in devices, and how this can be optimized. Experimentally, we will establish a unique and complementary palette of techniques combining time-resolved spectroscopy, pulsed photocurrent methods, terahertz experiments and device testing.We will balance between building on the success of our ongoing research and reaching towards new conceptual and experimental horizons. To that aim, we will address three interconnected topics:• Light-induced formation of charge carriers for photocurrent generation in solar cells.• Transport of charges on the nanoscale for photovoltaic and transistor applications.• Changes in optoelectronic properties during chemical/ biological sensing leading to signal transduction. We have already gained thorough expertise concerning charge generation for polymer-based solar cells. Many questions nevertheless remain open in the field, where no consensus has yet been reached on issues such as the role played by delocalization, charge transfer states, excess energy and bulk heterojunction structure. The specialized pulsed photocurrent techniques and advanced THz setup that we plan to build for the proposed project are designed to answer those questions. In parallel, we will diversify towards topics that are new to us and also much less investigated in the broader scientific community: Nanoscale charge mobility and sensory response. Charge transport is relevant for photovoltaics, but also allows us to expand our activity to another type of organic device, the field-effect transistor. Indeed, short-range mobility determines how charges move away from the interface at organic heterojunctions, and might as well dictate the macroscopic transport properties in neat conjugated polymer films. Investigating the mechanisms of signal transduction for DNA sensing using conjugated polyelectrolytes and for solid-state sensing using transistors is the most exploratory topic proposed and we will be amongst the first working on the subject. Both sub-projects can be addressed with the same experimental tools as the photocurrent project and concern similar materials. The knowledge that we have about conjugated polymers is therefore particularly well suited to understand subtle transport and transduction mechanisms. In the big picture, our project is relevant beyond science. The understanding we gain is essential to push organic electronics to full potential and towards large-scale implementation, with obvious positive implications for technology, society and the environment. The significant proportion of the proposed research concerning new generation organic solar cells (low-cost, easy processing, large-area, lightweight, flexible) is also of undeniable importance given timely issues of increasing energy demand and need for energy-related research to solve those issues. Similarly, the development of organic transistors with numerous uses in electronics allows saving energy during production and operation. The broader relevance in the development of sensors for explosives as well as of simple biological assays for molecular biology, genetic analysis and clinical diagnosis is likewise beyond doubt.
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