Ph.D. student Maha Alamoudi awarded ICSM Prize

Ph.D. student Maha Alamoudi was recently awarded "ICSM Best Poster Prize" at the International Conference on Science and Technology of Synthetic Metals 2018 (ICSM 2018) in Busan, Korea, in early July. Photo by Anastasia Khrenova.

Maha Alamoudi, a Ph.D. student in Associate Professor Frédéric Laquai's research group, was awarded the "ICSM Best Poster Prize" at the International Conference on Science and Technology of Synthetic Metals 2018 (ICSM 2018) in Busan, Korea, in early July. Alamoudi was recognized for her poster entitled: "Impact of IDT-based structures on photophysics and performance of polymer solar cells."

Alamoudi studies non-fullerene acceptor molecules synthesized in Professor Iain McCulloch's group in the KAUST Solar Center (KSC). By using advanced spectroscopic techniques, Alamoudi aims to understand how the chemical structure of the acceptor molecules influences the performance of organic solar cells.

"We could demonstrate that tuning the acceptor's energy levels by modifying the chemical structure does not only change the solar cell's voltage but also has a large effect on the efficiency and physics of charge generation and recombination," Alamoudi explained.

Non-fullerene acceptors have recently attracted a lot of attention in the PV community, and the development of new materials has propelled the efficiency of organic solar cells beyond 14 percent. Theoretically, even higher efficiencies should be possible if the structure-physics-efficiency relations can be better understood.

"Our aim is to develop a precise picture of the complex interplay between chemical structure, morphology, photophysics and device efficiency of organic solar cells to help researchers develop more efficient materials," said Laquai, head of the Ultrafast Dynamics Research Group and associate director of the KSC.

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