A team of scientists from the UK and US have made a novel germanium-bridged polymer that shows promise for organic solar cells.
Martin Heeney, at Imperial College London, and colleagues synthesised a heterocyclic monomer bridged with two germanium atoms. They co-polymerised it with an electron-accepting benzothiadiazole to give a polymer that, in contrast to the analogous C-bridged system, is semicrystalline.
Being able to design crystallinity into conjugated polymers in such a way is useful because crystalline polymers are better at transporting charge and hence offer more potential for solar cells. Heeney’s polymer exhibited power conversion efficiencies of over 5 % in bulk heterojunction solar cells. The team are now investigating the use of additives and co-solvents to increase this further.
Find out more – download Heeney’s ChemComm communication.