A growing French-Irish radiance [fr]

Dr. Sébastien Clément (Univ. Montpellier) talks a bit about his ongoing collaboration with Dr. Rachel Evans (Trinity College Dublin) in chemistry. A collaboration with application even up to solar energy.

About me

"I come from a small town in the East of France; I studied in the University Bourgogne Franche-Comté, where I did a thesis in organometallic chemistry (2006). I obtained a grant from the Fonds Québécois de la Recherche sur la Nature et les Technologies (FQRNT) to support my postdoctoral position in Sherbrooke University (Canada) on combined organometallic polymers. I followed this experience with a second postdoctoal position both in the Université Libre of Brussels (ULB) and the University of Mons (Umons) where I studied the formulation of -combined polymers. When joining the University of Montpellier in 2009, I chose to continue studying this thematic. "

My research study

"My research activities evolve around the synthesis and self-assembly of Π-combined molecules and macromolecules. The optical and electronic properties of these structures are strongly linked with their organisation when in solid state so controlling their self-assembly is a crucial parameter for their applications especially in the field of organic solar cells. We have developed Π-combined polyelectrolytes polythiophene-type to be used in interfacial layer in organic solar cells (Figure 1). This interfacial layer allows to significantly bettering the cell’s performances (photovoltaic conversion efficiency) by 20%."

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Figure 1: architecture of an organic solar cell
Architecture of an organic solar cell incorporating an interfacial layer pi-combined polyelectrolytes based.

My collaboration with Rachel

" In order to better understand the organisation of these polymers when they are in solution and in solid state and link together their structural characteristics (cationic groupings, counterions…) with their photovoltaic properties, we have reached to Dr. Rachel C. Evans’s team (Trinity College Dublin) and their expertise in the charaterisation of materials in solution and in solid state. Her team utilizes a large rank of advanced characterization techniques such as steady-state or time-resolved fluorescence spectroscopy and neutron or X-ray diffraction. In order to facilitate scientific exchanges and carry out this French-Irish collaboration project, we obtained a Ulysses scheme and beneficiated from the support of the Embassy of France in Ireland. This financial support allowed us to meet in November 2014 in Dublin and in February 2015 in Montpellier (Figure 2 and 3). To this day, this fruitful collaboration alloed us to publish together three articles (J. Mater. Chem. A, Macromol. Chem. Phys. et J. Mater. Chem. C). Two others are in preparation and will soon be published. "

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(left to right) Sébastien RICHETER, Michèle CHEVRIER andSébastien CLEMENT

The future

"The results obtained within the frame of these studies will be serving as baseline in the development of these systems and should allow reinforcing the stability of organic solar cells made from these polymers – besides improving performances. We are looking into extending our collaboration to other application fiels such as solar concentrators, sensors … probably throught the application European and national funding. "

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(left to right) Judith HOUSTON, Rachel C. Evans and Ilaria MEAZZINI

Published on 03/01/2020

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