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Energy and Environment Directorate

Research Capabilities

Thin Film Energy Conversion

Thin film science and technology-for example, our Barix™ technology for encapsulating displays, has long been one of the Energy Processes & Materials Division's strengths. We are building on work in passive coatings to develop thin-film approaches to the increasingly important issue of efficient energy conversion including organic light-emitting diodes (LEDs) for solid-state lighting and displays, photovoltaics, thermoelectric materials and devices, thin-film batteries, and photonic materials.

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Thin films have enormous potential in the area of energy conversion due to their modifiable electronic properties, low mass, and large surface area. They already dominate solar power generation, principally as silicon thin films but in more advanced design as compound semiconductor multilayers or hybrid organic-inorganic systems. Thin film batteries or super-capacitors increasingly dominate portable appliance applications. We are working to develop thin film lighting and display solutions that will someday displace existing technology with 50% gains in power efficiency. We also excel at the low-cost and low-energy fabrication methods that are key for the viability of these technologies.

For additional information see:

"Novel Organic Molecules for High-Efficiency Blue Organic ElectroLuminescence"

Energy and Environment

Core Research Areas