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Conjugated Polymers: From Improving Synthesis to Elucidating Novel Function
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Title: Conjugated Polymers: From Improving Synthesis to Elucidating Novel Function in Solar Cells
Date: June 27, 2018
Time:10:00-12:00 am.
Venue:Room 302, Building C
Speaker: Barry C. Thompson

Abstract:

Conjugated polymers have been the cornerstone of organic electronics, with applications in areas such as photovoltaics, field effect transistors, and electrochromics. Specifically, polymer based solar cells have generated significant attention due to the promise of a lightweight, flexible, and inexpensive solar energy conversion platform. However, a number of challenges are still apparent, including scalability and efficiency. Our related efforts have focused on novel, simplified polymer and device architectures and synthetic methods. Specifically, our work on ternary blend solar cells will be discussed, focusing on how proper selection of components in ternary blends can lead to a synergistic enhancement of properties without increasing the complexity of device fabrication. Here our development of the organic alloy model will be discussed in relation to the influence of polymer blending on the open circuit voltage in ternary blend solar cells. Additionally, we have spent significant effort focusing on scalability of polymer synthesis, which is best embodied in our work on Direct Arylation Polymerization (DArP), which is a C-H activation route to the synthesis of conjugated polymers. In this case, the identification of defects and their elimination via optimization of polymerization conditions has been the central focus of our work. Efforts toward oxidative direct arylation or halogen-free polymerization will also be discussed along with preliminary results in continuous flow chemistry.

Biography:

Barry C. Thompson

Associate Professor of Chemistry

Department of Chemistry and Loker Hydrocarbon Research Institute, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA

Prof. Barry C. Thompson was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1977. Barry then attended the University of Rio Grande in Rio Grande, Ohio, where he majored in Chemistry and Physics. After completing his undergraduate studies, Barry moved to the University of Florida to pursue a Ph.D. in Chemistry with Prof. John R. Reynolds as an NSF Graduate Research Fellow, focusing on conjugated polymers for electrochromic and photovoltaic applications. Upon completion of his Ph.D. in 2005, Barry moved to Prof. Jean Fréchet’s lab at UC Berkeley to further pursue his interests in polymer-based photovoltaics as an ACS-PRF Postdoctoral Fellow. After a three-year stay at Berkeley, Barry moved to the University of Southern California, Department of Chemistry and Loker Hydrocarbon Research Institute in 2008 as an Assistant Professor of Chemistry. Barry was promoted to Associate Professor with Tenure in 2015. Barry has served on the editorial advisory board for ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces, Macromolecules, ACS Macro Letters, and Advanced Science. His current research interests are focused on the design, synthesis, and application of novel conjugated polymers for organic photovoltaics. In his independent career (since 2008) he has authored or co-authored nearly 60 peer-reviewed articles, with a primary focus on polymer and materials chemistry.