X-ray diffraction

Crystal lattices have characteristic distances that diffract hard X-rays when Bragg’s law is satisfied. Diffraction is useful in identification of crystal structures, which is applicable to identification of bulk phases.

Measurements can be conducted under reaction conditions to complement or even combine with XAS

Uncovering the relationship between the active layer structure and device performance in organic solar cells

February 28, 2011

Currently, organic or plastic solar cells are relatively inexpensive to make, yet they are also relatively inefficient. Researchers from Princeton University and SSRL recently studied the structure of organic solar cells that were manufactured and processed in different ways to better understand the causes of the inefficiencies.

Interdiffusion of PCBM and P3HT in Bulk Heterojunction Blends

March 28, 2011

Organic or plastic solar cells have achieved efficiencies greater than 8%, close to the estimated 10% needed to make them economically viable. To close the gap, researchers need to improve control of the nanostructure of the active layer of these organic solar cells.

Enhanced Charge Transport in Printed Small Organic Semiconductor Thin Films due to Strained Molecular Packing

January 30, 2012

Organic semiconductors could usher in an era of foldable smart phones, better high-definition television screens and clothing made of materials that can harvest energy from the sun needed to charge your iPod or iPad, but there is one serious drawback: Organic semiconductors, while inexpensive, do not conduct electricity very well.

Resonant X-ray Reflectivity Study of Perovskite Oxide Superlattices

February 27, 2012

Materials that exhibit magnetism, superconductivity (the ability of electrons to travel without resistance across a material), and ferroelectricity (important for capacitors and used, for example, in medical ultrasound machines, infrared cameras and fire sensors) are the subject of significant scientific and technological research. These properties can depend strongly on the roughness of interfaces between layers as well as the thickness of these layers (often each a mere ~2.5 nanometers, or 1/16,000th the width of a human hair, thick); as such, the ability to characterize these layers at high-resolution is important.  Yet few characterization techniques exist that have the ability to characterize the structure and uniformity of such complex structures.

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