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U of T chemistry discovery brings organic solar cells a step closer
Date:1/15/2009

i's discovery opens the way to designing organic solar cells or sensors that capture light and transfer its energy much more effectively. It also has significant implications for quantum computing because it suggests that quantum information may survive significantly longer than previously believed.

In their experiment, the scientists used ultrashort laser pulses to put the conjugated polymer into a quantum-mechanical state, whereby it is simultaneously in the ground (normal) state and a state where light has been absorbed. This is called a superposition state or quantum coherence. Then they used a sophisticated method involving more ultrashort laser pulses to observe whether this quantum state can migrate along or between polymer chains. "It turns out that it only moves along polymer chains," says Scholes. "The chemical framework that makes up the chain is a crucial ingredient for enabling quantum coherent energy transfer. In the absence of the chemical framework, energy is funneled by chance, rather than design."

This means that a chemical property structure -- can be used to steer the ultrafast migration of energy using quantum coherence. The unique properties of conjugated polymers continue to surprise us," he says.


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Contact: kim.luke@utoronto.ca
kim.luke@utoronto.ca
416-978-4352
University of Toronto
Source:Eurekalert

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