Abstract: Bulk heterojunction polymer solar cells (BHJ PSCs) are very promising organic-based devices for low-cost solar energy conversion, compatible with roll-to-roll or general printing methods for mass production. Nevertheless, to date, many issues should still be addressed, one of these being the poor stability in ambient conditions. One elegant way to overcome such an issue is the so-called “inverted” BHJ PSC, a device geometry in which the charge collection is reverted in comparison with the standard geometry device, i.e., the electrons are collected by the bottom electrode and the holes by the top electrode (in contact with air). This reverted geometry allows one to use a high work function top metal electrode, like silver or gold (thus avoiding its fast oxidation and degradation), and eliminates the need of a polymeric hole transport layer, typically of an acidic nature, on top of the transparent metal oxide bottom electrode. Moreover, this geometry is fully compatible with standard roll-to-roll manufacturing in air and is less demanding for a good post-production encapsulation process. To date, the external power conversion efficiencies of the inverted devices are generally comparable to their standard analogues, once both the electron transport layer and the hole transport layer are fully optimized for the particular device. Here, the most recent results on this particular optimization process will be reviewed, and a general outlook regarding the inverted BHJ PSC will be depicted.
Abstract: Recently, MoO3, which is typically used as an anode buffer layer in organic photovoltaic cells (OPVCs), has also been used as a cathode buffer layer (CBL). Here, we check its efficiency as a CBL using a planar heterojunction based on the CuPc/C60 couple. The CBL is a bi-layer tris-(8-hydroxyquinoline) aluminum (Alq3)/MoO3. We show that the OPVC with MoO3 in its CBL almost immediately exhibits lower efficiency than those using Alq3 alone. Nevertheless, the OPVCs increase their efficiency during the first five to six days of air exposure. We explain this evolution of the efficiency of the OPVCs over time through the variation in the MoO3 work function due to air contamination. By comparison to a classical OPVC using a CBL containing only Alq3, if it is found that the initial efficiency of the latter is higher, this result is no longer the same after one week of exposure to ambient air. Indeed, this result is due to the fact that the lifetime of the cells is significantly increased by the presence of MoO3 in the CBL.
Abstract: The effects of germanium tetrabromide addition to tetraphenyl porphyrin zinc (Zn-TPP)/fullerene (C60) bulk heterojunction solar cells were characterized. The light-induced charge separation and charge transfer were investigated by current density and optical absorption. Addition of germanium tetrabromide inserted into active layer of Zn-TPP/C60 as bulk heterojunction had a positive effect on the photovoltaic and optical properties. The photovoltaic mechanism of the solar cells was discussed by experimental results. The photovoltaic performance was due to light-induced exciton promoted by insert of GeBr4 and charge transfer from HOMO of Zn-TPP to LUMO of C60 in the active layer.
Abstract: Cigarette smoking remains the leading cause of preventable death in the United States. Traditional in-clinic cessation interventions may fail to intervene and interrupt the rapid progression to relapse that typically occurs following a quit attempt. The ability to detect actual smoking behavior in real-time is a measurement challenge for health behavior research and intervention. The successful detection of real-time smoking through mobile health (mHealth) methodology has substantial implications for developing highly efficacious treatment interventions. The current study was aimed at further developing and testing the ability of inertial sensors to detect cigarette smoking arm movements among smokers. The current study involved four smokers who smoked six cigarettes each in a laboratory-based assessment. Participants were outfitted with four inertial body movement sensors on the arms, which were used to detect smoking events at two levels: the puff level and the cigarette level. Two different algorithms (Support Vector Machines (SVM) and Edge-Detection based learning) were trained to detect the features of arm movement sequences transmitted by the sensors that corresponded with each level. The results showed that performance of the SVM algorithm at the cigarette level exceeded detection at the individual puff level, with low rates of false positive puff detection. The current study is the second in a line of programmatic research demonstrating the proof-of-concept for sensor-based tracking of smoking, based on movements of the arm and wrist. This study demonstrates efficacy in a real-world clinical inpatient setting and is the first to provide a detection rate against direct observation, enabling calculation of true and false positive rates. The study results indicate that the approach performs very well with some participants, whereas some challenges remain with participants who generate more frequent non-smoking movements near the face. Future work may allow for tracking smoking in real-world environments, which would facilitate developing more effective, just-in-time smoking cessation interventions.
Abstract: In this work, the electrical response of n-type organic field-effect transistors, achieved by evaporating PDIF-CN2 films on both bare and Hexamethyldisilazane (HMDS) treated SiO2 substrates, was investigated by standard electrical characterization and potentiometry. Morphological and charge transport characterizations demonstrated that the hydrophobic degree of the substrate surface has a huge impact on the final response of the devices. The PDIF-CN2 transistors on HMDS-treated substrates show a maximum mobility of 0.7 cm2/Volt·s, three orders of magnitude greater than in the case of the device without surface functionalization. The scanning Kelvin probe microscopy technique was used to perform surface potentiometry to image the local surface potential inside the channel during the transistor operation and has allowed us to identify the film morphological disorder as the primary factor that could compromise the effectiveness of the charge injection process from gold contacts to PDIF-CN2 films. For optimized devices on HMDS-treated substrates, SKPM was also used to analyze, over time, the evolution of the potential profile when negative VGS voltages were applied. The findings of these measurements are discussed taking into account the role of VGS-induced proton migration towards SiO2 bulk, in the operational stability of the device.