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Silicon Nanocrystals for Photon Up/ Down-Conversion

Profs. Ming Lee Tang and Lorenzo Mangolini from the University of California, Riverside have developed a method for synthesizing chemically functionalized non-toxic silicon nanocrystals. This technology works by producing silicon NCs with non-thermal plasma synthesis which are then functionalized with triplet acceptors to produce photon upconversion systems. This technology stands out among other NC-based triplet-fusion upconversion systems because when incorporated into aqueous micelles, this system functions indefinitely under anaerobic conditions and for tens of minutes upon exposure to oxygen. Fig. 1 Schematic of the aqueous photon upconverting micelles.  

A New Material for Improved Energy Transfer in Photonic Devices

Prof. Ming Lee Tang and her colleagues from the University of California, Riverside have developed a promising new material for photonic devices utilizing hybrid materials composed of inorganic semiconductor nanocrystals and organic acene molecules. The material allows for photon upconversion, a promising wavelength shifting technology for photon management. This multi-photon process has potential applications in biological imaging, photocatalysis and photovoltaics. Regarding solar energy systems, the conversion of low energy near-infrared (NIR) photons to higher energy photons is particularly appealing, considering NIR radiation comprises 53% of the solar spectrum. Current solar panels are greatly limited in efficiency due to this. Reshaping the solar spectrum to match the optical properties of common semiconductors will allow the efficient use of all incident light. This holds the potential to solve the largest issue that current solar panel systems face.

Homogeneous Freestanding Luminescent Perovskite Organogel with Superior Water Stability

UCLA researchers in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering have developed a perovskite-embedded organogel with superior water stability and versatile design and mechanical properties.

2D Perovskite Stabilized Phase-Pure Formamidinium Perovskite Solar Cells and Light Emitting Diodes

UCLA researchers in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering have developed a novel lead halide perovskite solar cell based on a mixture of formamidinium perovskites and 2D perovskites.

Rheological Tuning of the Crystal Growth

Solutions of shear-thinning polymers are known to decrease in viscosity as a shear force is applied to the solution. In this work, the inventors show that by pre-shearing a shear-thinning polymer solution mixed with a precursor solution of a semiconducting crystal we can tune the size and morphology of the growing crystals, which governs the optoelectronic properties of the formed crystals. By pre-shearing the solution we are able to lower the viscosity of the solution, which plays a key role in the liquid phase processing (eg., coating processes). By forming a thinner, low-viscosity coating, we are able to tune the nucleation and growth rate of the crystals to form crystals that are smaller and more uniformly distributed in size, leading to a uniform and conformal coating. This approach allows us to coat a uniform layer of semiconducting crystals, which is necessary for developing functional optoelectronic devices.

Covalent Organic Framework With Exceptional Water Sorption Properties

A new covalent organic framework (COF) with defective square lattice topology and exceptional water sorption properties stemming fro its unique framework structure. The COF exhibits a working capacity of 0.23 g(H2O)/g(COF) between 20 and 40% relative humidity without displaying hysteretic behavior. Furthermore, it maintains these promising water sorption properties after several uptake and release cycles. This material could be used as a sorbent for water harvesting or other water sorption related applications.

A Family Of Hybrid Boosting Voltage Converters

Many industries, such as solar cells and energy storage, will be greatly benefited by high-gain step-up/step-down converters.UCI researchers have developed a family of hybrid boosting converters (HBC) that combine a base bipolar voltage multiplier (BVM) and one of several possible inductive switching cores to address various converter functionalities.

A Family Of Two-Switch Boosting Switched-Capacitor Converters (TBSC)

Switched capacitor converters, which provide high-gain voltage conversion, have drawbacks that have limited their use to specific applications. UCI researchers have developed a family of two-switch boosting switched-capacitor converters (TBSC) that enables the use of switched-capacitor converters in low cost and small-size applications as well as on-chip integration.

Multi-Point, Multi-Access Energy Storage

UCLA researchers in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering have developed a novel multi-point, multi-access thermal energy storage system.

High Pressure Heat Exchanger Produced by Additive Manufacturing

Researchers at the University of California, Davis and Carnegie Mellon University have developed a new design and fabrication method for high pressure heat exchangers (HX) using additive manufacturing (AM). This method would allow for the creation of primary heat exchanger (PHX) systems with minimal energy loss.

Multiple-absorbers offer increased solar conversion efficiencies for artificial photosynthesis

   Researchers at UCI have, for the first time, developed a method for modeling the efficiencies of artificial photosynthetic devices containing multiple light absorbers. As these devices more closely parallel naturally occurring photosynthesis, they offer higher performance than standard single-absorber devices.

Synthesis Of Heteroatom Containing Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons

UCLA researchers in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry have developed an approach for synthesizing nitrogen-containing polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons with high yield.

Highly Efficient Perovskite/Cu(In, Ga)Se2 Tandem Solar Cell

UCLA researchers in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering have developed Perovskite/Cu(In, Ga)Se2 (PVSK/CIGS) tandem photovoltaic devices with ~22% efficiency.

Devices For Integrated Solar Photodialysis Of Salt Water

Researchers at UCI have developed a compact device for the rapid desalination of water which is driven entirely by renewable solar energy.

Micro-Optical Tandem Luminescent Solar Concentrator

Silicon photovoltaic (“Si-PV”) modules currently dominate the solar energy market. Increased progress into Si-PV efficiency enhancements combined with historically low module costs aim to decrease the overall Levelized Cost of Electricity (“LCOE”) to a point competitive with non-renewable energy sources. Despite recent LCOE reductions, Si-PV technology remains economically inferior to fossil fuels. Additionally, flat-plate Si solar modules generally require geographical locations with high direct normal incidence (“DNI”) sunlight conditions in order to maintain module performance. Both the strict DNI requirement and the high LCOE of Si-PV cells ultimately limit the dissemination of solar power into the global energy market. A solution for the capturing of diffuse sunlight includes the use of optical concentrators.  One class of optical concentrators includes luminescent solar concentrators (“LSCs”).  Luminescent solar concentrators have garnered interest due to their ability to utilize diffuse light and their potential for use in architectural applications such as large area power-generating windows. However, LSCs have not yet reached commercialization for photovoltaic power generation, largely due to their comparatively low power conversion efficiencies (“PCEs”) and lack of scalability.     Researchers at UC Berkeley and other educational institutions have developed luminescent solar concentrators that  can be designed to minimize photon thermalization losses and incomplete light trapping using various novel components and techniques.

Graphene-Polymer Nanocomposite Incorporating Chemically Doped Graphene-Polymer Heterostructure for Flexible and Transparent Conductive Films

UCLA researchers in the Department of Electrical Engineering have invented a novel graphene-polymer nanocomposite material for flexible transparent conductive electrode (TCE) applications.

Sunlight-driven Ion pump for use in Solar Photo-dialysis Technology

The invention is a specialized membrane that absorbs solar energy to directly drive desalination of salt water. Compared to state of the art devices, the invention is capable of bypassing the inefficient conversion from electronic energy to ionic energy, saving up to 85% of the energy required by other state of the art electrodialysis cells.

Efficient Solar Energy Conversion to Electricity

Researchers at the University of California, Davis have developed a novel design for a solar power converter. The system uses an efficient selective absorber to harvest solar radiation.

Novel Photovoltaic Desalination System

Researchers at the University of California, Davis have developed a novel method of desalination without an external power source.

Efficient and Stable Perovskite Solar Cells with All Solution Processed Metal Oxide Transporting Layers

UCLA researchers in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering have developed a novel lead halide perovskite solar cell with a metal oxide charge transport layer.

Design of Semi-Transparent, Transparent, Stacked or Top-Illuminated Organic Photovoltaic Devices

UCLA researchers in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering have developed novel tandem transparent and semi-transparent organic photovoltaic (OPV) devices.

Silver Nanowire-Indium Tin Oxide Nanoparticle As A Transparent Conductor For Optoelectronic Devices

UCLA researchers in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering have developed a novel composite material made of metal oxide nanoparticles (NPs) and silver nanowires (AgNWs).

Novel Polymers for Polymer Solar Cells, Transistors, and Sensors

UCLA researchers in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering have developed a novel class of conjugated polymers for photo-electronic device applications.

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