Call for candidature : International Volunteer in Optoelectronic [France2Israel]

PROJECT TITLE : Molecule- and Biomolecule-based optoelectronic (photovoltaic, i.e., solar cell) materials & devices

RESEARCH PROJECT : See and and search for “Cahen”.

Solar Cells: Nanocrystalline cells, How do they work? cf. J. Phys. Chem.B, (2000) 104, 2053-2059. (2004) 108, 8106-8118; (2004) 108, 17946-17951 (2005) 109 18907, ChemPhysChem (2005) 6, 277, and can we make solid state analogs (Niitsoo et al., J. Photochem.Photobiol., (2006), 181, 306-313 and submitted) ?

Micro- and nano-scopic studies : Appl. Phys. Lett.(2003) 82,556; 83,4924; Adv. Mater.(2004)16, 879, Adv. Funct. Mater.,(2006) 16, 649

Optical optimization of solar radiation utilization for solar cells and quantum light conversion processes in general ; New molecular-controlled solar cells ; Evaluation new concepts in solar cells.

Bio-opto-electronics: Understanding the fundamentals by studying electron transport through proteins Can we arrive at a simple description of solid state electron transport through proteins, in terms of known models or do we need to invoke/find new ones? Our results show what appear to be remarkable differences, the fundamental, underlying causes for which we want to understand as the main goal of this project.

Bacteriorhodopsin (bR) is a relatively simple and robust light-sensitive protein, that can be modified (bio)chemically in a variety of ways. As such it should be able to lead us to a new class of materials,if we can understand the science involved in trying to integrate it into bio-optoelectronic structures. cf. Adv. Mater.17 (2005) 1023;; Chem. Comm 2006 (1310); PNAS, 103 (2006) 8601; Adv. Funct. Mater.,17 (2007) 1417 ; Chem. Soc. Rev., in press ; Small, in press. The project entails the study of electron transport through normal, mutated and chemically modified bR and other proteins, using the methodologies described in our published papers as well as complementary ones.

Molecular Electronics: Experiments to understand fundamentals.Our approach to molecular control over optoelectronic devices is to graft molecules onto semiconductor and metal surfaces, to express molecular properties into those of the solid, and then contact the molecularly modified surface. We are, admittedly, not aiming at replacing CMOS technology with molecules, competing with Si-based microtechnology or the like. RATHER,we look for/at unique molecular aspects in transport. The work is highly interdisciplinary and enjoys collaborations with other experimentalists as well as theoreticians. We address the following fundamental questions: ** How can electrons pass through molecules? ** How important is the nature of the contact between molecule and non-molecular electronic material? How should we describe this to be able to build models with predictive power? ** Is there evidence for real molecular effects? Hitherto we have found systematic trends, explained by simple relatively chemical and physical theories, thus providing predictive power. This is important because molecules that exist and can be made, provide properties, by far exceeding our ability to tune properties of non-molecular solids. However, some of the fundamental issues remain open. This is of interest for basic science and also because it will be hard, without understanding, to develop new concepts involving electronics and (bio)chemistry. cf. following publications: D. Cahen, G. Hodes (2002) Adv. Mater., 14, 789-798 A. Salomon et al., (2003) Adv. Mater., 15, 1881-1890; A. Salomon et al.,(2004) J. Amer. Chem. Soc., 126, 11648-11657 D. Cahen et al. Adv. Funct. Mater. (2005) 15, 1571-8; Mater. Today, (2005) 8 (July) 32-41 A. Salomon et al.,(2005) Phys. Rev. Lett. 95, 266807; Nano Lett. 6 (2006) 2873;Adv. Mater. 19 (2007) 445 O. Seitz et al., Langmuir 22 (2006) 6915; J. Amer. Chem. Soc., 129 (2007) 7494 G. Nesher et al., J. Phys. Chem. B 110 (2006)14363; J. Amer. Chem. Soc. 129 (2007) 734 A. Vilan and D. Cahen (2002) Trends in Biotechnology 20, 22-29 G. Ashkenasy, et al. (2002) Acc. Chem. Res., 35, 121 –128 H. Haick et al. (2004) Adv. Mater.,16, 2145 – 2151; J. Amer. Chem. Soc., 128 (2006)6854, J. Phys. Chem. C., 111 (2007) 2318

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