In Pictures

  • Optical micrograph of a thiophene oligomer self-assembled on graphite

Solar Flare: Polymer Materials for Photovoltaics

Organic electronics have become an area of immense interest due to their promise of low-cost and large-area solution-processable applications, and polythiophenes have become the benchmark polymer semiconductor material for developing high-performance devices such as organic photovoltaics. Polymer scientists in the Briseno Research Group in the PHaSE Energy Frontier Research Center are conducting basic research in how specific structural changes in the crystal packing directly affect the electronic properties of the material, such as directed self-assembly on highly ordered pyrolitic graphite. This image is an optical micrograph of a thiophene oligomer self-assembled on the graphite. There is no false-color in the image; rather, the colors produced are the result of double refraction in the ordered crystal. Learn more.

Photo credit: Briseno Research Group