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Organic Photocatalyst: Reducing energy loss

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July 18, 2018

A combination of materials that reduces energy loss in organic solar cells has been identified by researchers in Japan. A solar cell comprises two materials: one with excess electrons and one with absent electrons, referred to as holes. An incoming photon can create an electron–hole pair. These separate at the material's interface and flow in opposite directions to generate a current. Energy is lost as the electric potential difference across the interface is smaller than the energy of the photon. Keiji Nagai, Mohd Fairus Ahmad and colleagues from Tokyo Institute of Technology used a technique called scanning Kelvin probe microscopy to investigate this potential difference between two organic materials. They identified a naturally occurring electric potential at this interface, which reduces the potential difference between the materials and thus energy loss during photon conversion.

Mapping of the contact potential difference by Scanning Kelvin Probe Microscopy

Figure 1. Mapping of the contact potential difference by Scanning Kelvin Probe Microscopy

Image mapping of the contact potential difference by Scanning Kelvin Probe Microscopy. The maximal part is located along the lateral p-n junction, and the potential was shifted to the positive (blue). Furthermore, the positive potential was utilized as oxidation power electrochemically (left data), and photocatalysis.

Reference

Authors :
Mohd Fairus Ahmad1, 2, Motoya Suzuki1, Toshiyuki Abe3, Keiji Nagai1
Title of original paper :
Enhanced oxidation power in photoelectrocatalysis based on a micrometer-localized positive potential in a terrace hetero p-n junction
Journal :
NPG Asia Materials
DOI :
Affiliations :

1 Laboratory for Chemistry and Life Science, Institute of Innovative Research, Tokyo Institute of Technology,

2 School of Microelectronic Engineering, Kampus Pauh, Universiti Malaysia Perlis

3 Department of Frontier Materials Chemistry, Graduate School of Science and Technology,Hirosaki University

Further Information

Keiji Nagai

Institute of Innovative Research, Tokyo Institute of Technology

Email nagai.k.ae@m.titech.ac.jp
Tel +81-45-924-5266

Contact

Public Relations Section,
Tokyo Institute of Technology

Email media@jim.titech.ac.jp
Tel +81-3-5734-2975

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