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Printing Light Harvesting Biological “Devices” and other Functional Materials Applicable to Organic Photovoltaics

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Many processing steps in the manufacturing of organic photovoltaics require solution processing. Inkjet printing is a facile method for depositing solutions into patterned thin films. Piezoelectric inkjet printing is a thermally consistent process, thereby protecting the tertiary structure of organic molecules that convert optical power to electrical power. We have taken several steps back from device manufacturing and worked out the details of inkjet printing light harvesting bacteria, more specifically photosynthetic cyanobacteria. Each individual single-celled organism is a functioning biological photovoltaic device that works with only the input of water as an electron donor for the photosynthetic reaction. In addition, these cells harvest photons from a variety of wavelengths so that they function more efficiently in heterogeneous light environments. An added bonus is that their byproduct is pure oxygen and conversely, they use C02 as a food source, thus removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. In these biological organic photovoltaic devices, a series of photochemical reactions occur through a thylakoid-containing internal membrane structure underneath their gelatinous cell wall. We will show the successful thin film patterning of these cells, and we will also show their light emission characteristics. In addition, we will show their carbohydrate production yields highlighting their ability to use light to form energy that can be converted easily into electricity. Finally, we will show other patterned thinfilms of organic photovoltaic relevant materials including conductive silver used in cathodes, carbon nanotubes used as transparent conductors, conjugated polymers used in the active layer and quantum dots, band gap acceptor materials that also function in non-white light environments. Finally, this talk will discuss the impact of inkjet printing on the photovoltaic market and highlight the research efforts of leaders in this field.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2008-01-01

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  • For more than 30 years, IS&T's series of digital printing conferences have been the leading forum for discussion of advances and new directions in 2D and 3D printing technologies. A comprehensive, industry-wide conference that brings together industry and academia, this meeting includes all aspects of the hardware, materials, software, images, and applications associated with digital printing systems?particularly those involved with additive manufacturing and fabrication?including bio-printing, printed electronics, page-wide, drop-on-demand, desktop and continuous ink jet, toner-based systems, and production digital printing, as well as the engineering capability, optimization, and science involved in these fields. In 2016, the conference changed its name formally to Printing for Fabrication to better reflect the content of the meeting and the evolving technology of printing.

    Please note: For purposes of its Digital Library content, IS&T defines Open Access as papers that will be downloadable in their entirety for free in perpetuity. Copyright restrictions on papers vary; see individual paper for details.

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