New research published in Nature explores organic solar cells

A vial holds a solution that contains the UW-developed polymer “ink” that can be printed to make solar cells.

A vial holds a solution that contains the UW-developed polymer “ink” that can be printed to make solar cells.

David Ginger, Professor and Raymon E. and Rosellen M. Lawton Distinguished Scholar in Chemistry, and Alex Jen, Boeing/Johnson Chair Professor of Materials Science & Engineering, along with other researchers, have recently reported on the role of electron spin in creating efficient organic solar cells. Their findings were recently published in the journal Nature.

Organic solar cells that convert light to electricity using carbon-based molecules have shown promise as a versatile energy source but have not been able to match the efficiency of their silicon-based counterparts. These researchers have discovered a synthetic, high-performance polymer that behaves differently from other tested materials and could make inexpensive, highly efficient organic solar panels a reality. The polymer, created at the University of Washington and tested at the University of Cambridge in England, appears to improve efficiency by wringing electrical current from pathways that, in other materials, cause a loss of electrical charge.

More information can be found at Nature and in the UW News press release.

To learn more about Professor Ginger and Professor Jen, please visit their research group websites.

Ginger Research Group:

Jen Research Group:

Alex Jen selected as a 2012 Materials Research Society Fellow

Professor Alex Jen, Boeing-Johnson Chair professor of materials science and engineering and professor of chemistry, has been selected as a 2012 Materials Research Society Fellow. MRS Fellows are honored for their outstanding contributions to the advancement of materials research. The MRS fellows will be recognized at the MRS Spring Meeting in San Francisco, CA.

To learn more about Prof. Jen’s research, visit his group research page.

Professors Campbell, Jen, and Mayer named 2011 ACS Fellows

Three UW Department of Chemistry professors have been named 2011 ACS Fellows, an honor bestowed upon scientists “who have demonstrated outstanding accomplishments in chemistry and made important contributions to ACS.”  Professor Charles Campbell, Lloyd E. and Florence M. West Endowed Professor of Chemistry, Professor Alex K.-Y. Jen, Boeing-Johnson Chair Professor of Materials Science & Engineering and Chemistry, and Professor James Mayer, Alvin L. and Verla R. Kwiram Endowed Professor of Chemistry, will be recognized at an induction ceremony on August 29, 2011 during the American Chemical Society National Meeting in Denver. Their induction brings the total number of ACS Fellows from the UW Department of Chemistry to four – Professor Larry Dalton was inducted in 2009.

The ACS Fellows Program was created by the ACS Board of Directors in December 2008 “to recognize members of ACS for outstanding achievements in and contributions to Science, the Profession, and the Society.” Fellows come from academe, industry and government. The official list of names can be found in the Aug. 8 issue of Chemical & Engineering News.

Congratulations to Professors Campbell, Jen, and Mayer!

Three chemistry faculty elected to Washington State Academy of Sciences

Three UW Department of Chemistry faculty members are among the 24 new members elected to the Washington State Academy of Sciences in recognition of their distinguished and continuing scientific achievements. The Washington State Academy of Sciences provides expert scientific and engineering analysis to inform public policy-making, and works to increase the role and visibility of science in the State of Washington. The new members will be inducted into the WSAS at the fourth annual meeting at the Museum of Flight in Seattle, WA on September 22.

The newly-elected chemistry faculty are:

  • Sarah Keller, Department of Chemistry, Associate Dean for Research Activities, College of Arts and Sciences.
  • Alex K-Y Jen, Boeing/Johnson Chair and Professor of Materials Science and Engineering & Professor of Chemistry.
  • Usha Varanasi, Affiliate Professor, School of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences & Department of Chemistry.

Click to learn more about the Washington State Academy of Sciences.

UW Chemistry Faculty Lead UW to Top Citation Impact in Materials Science

According to a recent report, the University of Washington led the world in impact of publications in materials science research during the period 2001-2011. This analysis, by Thomson-Reuters, focused on 800 papers published at the UW in the field of materials science, which were collectively cited about 24,000 times, achieving a remarkable 30.41 citations per publication. The UW’s performance was closely followed by a number of outstanding private and public institutions. Chemistry Chair Paul Hopkins points out that even in a large university such as the UW, the work of a small number of faculty members can strongly influence the outcome of such analyses. He points out that UW Chemistry Professor Daniel Gamelin, UW Chemistry and Materials Science Professor Alex Jen, UW Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Professor Samson Jenekhe, and former UW Chemistry Professor Younan Xia together published a total of nearly 750 papers  in that time period that were cited over 43,000 times, or 58 citations per paper. Though all of these papers were clearly not included in the Thomson-Reuters analysis, Hopkins believes that that the work of chemists Gamelin, Jen, Jenekhe, and Xia was critical to lifting the UW to the number one spot. Hopkins hopes that prospective graduate students and postdoctoral associates in this field will take notice of the UW’s outstanding performance and strongly consider joining this exciting program at the UW.