Fluorinated polymer synthesis and characterization for active layer in organic photovoltaic solar cell devices
Every day, it becomes more evident that the need to find alternative ways to generate electricity has grown more pressing. Fossil fuels, coal and natural gas make up the majority of energy production that we see today while also being the most harmful to the environment and our health. Organic photovoltaics (OPVs), which use light absorbing polymers to create an electrical current from sunlight, has become a focal point for a lot of energy production research in recent years because of their highly scalable and comparably inexpensive way to produce solar energy. In recent years research has been conducted to create new light-absorbing polymers that have driven great understanding on how these polymers contribute to the power conversion efficiency in OPVs. For this reason, this research will focus on furthering the research into these types of light absorbing polymers by synthesizing and characterizing new fluorinated polymers to be used as the active layer in a bulk-heterojunction solar cell. Poly(styrene)-poly(2-ethoxyethyl methacrylate)-poly(styrene)(PS-PEEM-PS) at different levels of sulfonation, Poly(Pentafluorostyrene)-poly(2-ethoxyethylmethacrylate)-(Pentafluorostyrene) (PPFS-PEEM-PFS) will be synthesized, characterized and their performance in the device will be measured.