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Kent State’s College of Arts and Sciences Holds Third Annual Symposium on Advances in Organic Photovoltaics

Posted Apr. 9, 2014

Researchers from across the region will converge in Kent to present their latest findings on organic photovoltaic materials for flexible solar cells

Kent State University will host its third annual Symposium on Advances in Organic Photovoltaics (OPVs) on April 16 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the Moulton Hall Ballroom on the Kent Campus. 

Photo of Zhenan BaoOPVs are specialized, carbon-based semiconducting materials used in solar cells, flexible electronics and organic lighting. Unlike typical inorganic solar cells that are silicon or thin-film-based, OPVs are flexible and have the potential to be produced at much lower costs than conventional solar cells through environmentally friendly processes such as jet-printing, spray painting, dip-coating and roll-to-roll manufacturing.

“This research area fits well with the university’s long-term focus on sustainability,” said James Blank, Ph.D., interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Kent State. “The symposium provides us an opportunity to exchange ideas with regional and international leaders in this field.”

The symposium will feature eight presentations and is free and open to the public. Registration is required. A poster session and reception will follow the presentations starting at 4:50 p.m.

The symposium’s morning keynote speaker is Zhenan Bao, Ph.D., professor of chemical engineering at Stanford University. Her presentation, “Molecular Design and Solution Shearing to Manipulate Molecular Packing, Morphology and Electronic Properties of Organic Semiconductors,” will shed light on polymer and small molecule semiconducting materials as alternatives to inorganic semiconductors in applications where low-cost, flexible or transparent substrates, and large area format is required. Prior to joining Stanford in 2004, she was a Distinguished Member of Technical Staff at Bell Labs, Lucent Technologies from 1995-2004.

The afternoon keynote speakers are Peter F. Green, Ph.D. and Lars Müller-Meskamp, Ph.D. Green is the Vincent T. and Gloria M. Gorguze Professor of Engineering and Chair of the Materials Science and Engineering Department at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He is also the director of the Center for Solar and Thermal Energy Conversion (CSTEC), a Department of Energy-sponsored Energy Frontier Research Center (EFRC). He will discuss “Morphological Design, Transport Processes and Device Performance of Organic Solar Cells.”

Müller-Meskamp heads a research group for alternative transparent electrodes and encapsulation for organic optoelectronic devices at the Institut für Angewandte Photophysik, Technische Universität Dresden (IAPP). The topic of his presentation is “Alternative Transparent Electrode Technologies and Encapsulation for Organic Photovoltaics.”

Kent State’s initiative on OPVs started in 2009 by Satyendra Kumar, Ph.D., a professor in the university’s Department of Physics, in collaboration with a group of faculty members from the departments of Physics, Chemistry and Biochemistry, and Chemical Physics, and the College of Applied Engineering, Sustainability and Technology. They developed a proposal under the Coordinated Research Hiring Initiative to create three new faculty positions; two of these positions have already been filled. There are now a dozen or so Kent State researchers across different disciplines actively researching these cost-effective renewable energy technologies.   

The symposium also features invited presentations from highly respected professionals, including Paul Lane, Ph.D., of the Naval Research Laboratory; Quan Li, Ph.D., senior research fellow, Liquid Crystal Institute at Kent State; Björn Lüssem, Ph.D., assistant professor of physics, Kent State; Kenneth D. Singer, Ph.D., professor of physics, Case Western Reserve University; and Wei You, Ph.D., associate professor of chemistry, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

The event is sponsored by Kent State’s College of Arts and Sciences, Liquid Crystal Institute, Department of Physics, and Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.  

For a full program and registration information, visit www.kent.edu/cas/opv.

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Photo Caption:
Zhenan Bao, Ph.D., professor of chemical engineering at Stanford University, is the morning keynote speaker at Kent State University’s third annual Symposium on Advances in Organic Photovoltaics on April 16.

Media Contacts:
Satyendra Kumar, skumar@kent.edu, 330-672-2256
Jim Maxwell, jmaxwel2@kent.edu, 330-672-8028
Emily Vincent, evincen2@kent.edu, 330-672-8595