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Materials Science at Oregon State University

Solar Energy Conversion Using Organic Conducting Polymers

Date: Thursday, May 28th
Presenter: Dr. Carl Wamser, Portland State University


The energy received from the sun every hour (4.3 x 10^20 J) is greater than the total amount of energy consumed on earth in one year (4.1 x 10^20 J). Despite our urgent need for increased energy resources and decreased reliance on carbon-based fuels, solar energy remains a very minor component of our total energy resources (less than 0.1%). There are significant challenges of chemistry, materials science, and engineering to be met in order to bring solar energy into a viable position as a primary energy resource. This seminar will explore the approaches taken in the Wamser research group to create a solar cell based on porphyrins (analogs of chlorophyll) as light absorbers, semiconductor nanoparticles as electron-transport media, and conductive polymers as hole-transport media.