Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Enhancement of Polymer luminescence by excitation-energy transfer from Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotubes

Organic based solution processable devices are promising to revolutionise the lighting and photovoltaic industries of the future. The move away from traditional inorganic materials is driven not only by cost considerations, but also sustainability issues and life-cycle costs. However, current organic device efficiencies and lifetimes are not high enough for many applications.

One solution to improve the lifetime of these devices that has been investigated is incorporating carbon nanotubes (tubes made of carbon atoms, 1000s of times thinner than the width of a human hair) in the polymer to form a composite. These “inorganics-in-organics” hybrid composites add many new dimensions and functionality to traditional organic films. However, the addition of the carbon nanotubes typically comes at a cost. For example, in light emitting materials, the presence of the carbon nanotubes (CNT) reduces the emission from the composite, due to quenching of charge carriers at the nanotubes, which are generally metallic in nature for multi-walled CNT. This quenching reduces the emission efficiency of the devices.

Researchers at the Advanced Technology Institute of the University of Surrey, in collaboration with researchers from China and the USA, have recently demonstrated that this quenching effect is not an unavoidable problem. In fact, they demonstrate a 100-fold increase in the light emission from a nylon polymer sample, by incorporating multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT). This increase in light-emission only occurred when they acid treated the MWCNT prior to inclusion in the polymer. They propose that this increase is due to a novel energy transfer mechanism, from the acid-damaged surface of the MWCNT to the emitting sites in the polymer (see figure below.) In addition to the enhanced light-emission, the study also demonstrates that the MWCNT produced an improvement in the stability of the polymer to light-induced degradation.

Dr. Simon Henley, one of the lead investigators, comments “These results show that carbon nanotubes have enormous potential as a versatile material in future optoelectronic devices, and raise the prospect of utilising MWCNTs to harvest solar radiation in organic solar cells, in addition to improving device stability. ”

Professor Ravi Silva, Director of the Advanced Technology Institute states: “The mere fact that now we can have a predictable organic-nanotube hybrid composite, with enhanced properties should open the door for many new applications. The enhancement in the luminescence properties bodes well a new generation of organic devices that could potentially reach commercially viable figures of merit for large scale production. We are very excited with these initial results”.

'"The work conducted at the ATI will now allow us to investigate ways to modify the active material used for solar cells in order to harvest more of the solar spectrum using hybrid mixtures.'

This research has just been published in the journal “Small.” DOI: 10.1002/smll.200700278

Stuart Miller | alfa
Further information:

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Move over, lasers: Scientists can now create holograms from neutrons, too
21.10.2016 | National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

nachricht Finding the lightest superdeformed triaxial atomic nucleus
20.10.2016 | The Henryk Niewodniczanski Institute of Nuclear Physics Polish Academy of Sciences

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>