Electrically Conductive Polymers for Energy Conversion

Speaker(s): 
Date: 
May 20, 2003 - 12:00pm
Location: 
Bldg. 90

Electrically conductive polymers are critical components of energy conversion devices such as lithium polymer batteries, PEM fuel cells and polymer light emitting diodes (PLED). In all cases, the key issue is to improve charged specie mobility within the conductive materials and at the interfaces. We approach this problem by molecular scale optimization such as new polymer design and synthesis aided by theoretical study and system engineering for the particular device. The methodology and progress on design, synthesis and testing of a new polymer electrolyte system for lithium polymer batteries will be summarized. However, the main focus will be on application of this methodology to PLED research for solid-state lighting applications, which is a relatively new research field emerging in the past few years. The instrumentation development in support of the solid-state lighting initiatives at EETD will be described and the significant progress made in polymer material synthesis, device building and testing. Basic and applied research in collaboration with other research groups at UCB and LBNL will be described that address several critical issues for PLED development. One major issue in designing PLED systems is the charge movement through the interface. Model compounds are designed for femtosecond two photon studies to understand the charge injection and movement at the metal-conductive organic interface. Studies of the PLED on nano and system scales are carried out to address other practical problems. For example, nano-imprinting technology is used to increase surface area in order to address charge injection imbalance at interface. The imprinting at the micro scale can also be used as a waveguide to increase the external efficiency.  Polymer blend phase structure is also used to achieve efficient white light emission, which is critical for lighting applications.

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