Jean Manca's research while affiliated with Hasselt University and other places

Publications (238)

Article
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Light-induced charge-transfer mechanisms are at the heart of both photosynthesis and photovoltaics. The underlying photophysical mechanisms occurring within photosynthesis and organic photovoltaics in particular show striking similarities. However, they are studied by distinct research communities, often using different terminology. This contributi...
Article
The plant microbial fuel cell is a fascinating technology that combines plants and bacteria to produce electricity. As sunlight is converted into electric power, plant microbial fuel cells can be compared to photovoltaics on various levels. To investigate to what extent this comparison goes up, a rough upper limit for the energy conversion efficien...
Article
In the field of photovoltaics (PV), an important trend is to increase the aesthetic and creative design aspects of solar cells towards more attractive and customized devices for integration in for instance architecture, e.g. building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV). Here we introduce the concept of “photovoltaic photographs”, defined as semi-transp...
Article
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The global production of unrecycled electronic waste is extensively growing each year, urging the search for alternatives in biodegradable electronic materials. Electroactive bacteria and their nanowires have emerged as a new route toward electronic biological materials (e-biologics). Recent studies on electron transport in cable bacteria—filamento...
Article
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The inclusion of bioaugmented low-cost biochar in current wastewater treatment technologies is a promising way to enhance the removal and degradation of emerging contaminants. In this paper, the properties of two wood waste biochars (wood waste mix - AB, and date palm fiber wood - PDF), and coffee bean husks (COF), produced at four temperatures (35...
Poster
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This poster was showcased at the very beginning of the PhD project. It illustrates the PhD plan: machine learning is used to identify from ToF-SIMS data the molecules responsible for the electron transport in cable bacteria, in addition to modeling and visualization (using SPM) of the structure.
Article
Postdeposition Treatment In article number 2100390, Jessica de Wild and co-workers performed a RbF postdeposition treatment on AlOx back-passivated Cu(In,Ga)Se2 solar cells. It is found that Na present at the AlOx/Mo back contact inhibits Rb diffusion into the absorber layer. A detrimental redistribution of the alkali follows, leading to an injecti...
Article
Passivation of the Cu(In,Ga)Se2 (CIGS)/Mo back contact using AlO x is studied to reduce the recombination at this interface. Herein, RbF postdeposition treatment (RbF‐PDT), a well‐established method to improve absorber and front interface properties is used on back‐passivated solar cells. It is found that this combination deteriorates the performan...
Article
Full-text available
Filamentous cable bacteria display long-range electron transport, generating electrical currents over centimeter distances through a highly ordered network of fibers embedded in their cell envelope. The conductivity of these periplasmic wires is exceptionally high for a biological material, but their chemical structure and underlying electron trans...
Article
Full-text available
Long-distance extracellular electron transfer has been observed in Gram-negative bacteria and plays roles in both natural and engineering processes. The electron transfer can be mediated by conductive protein appendages (in short unicellular bacteria such as Geobacter species) or by conductive cell envelopes (in filamentous multicellular cable bact...
Article
This work presents a novel method of local contact openings formation in an Aluminum Oxide (Al2O3) rear surface passivation layer by the selenization of the Lithium Fluoride (LiF) salt on top of the Al2O3 for ultra-thin CIGS solar cells. This study introduces the potentially cost-effective, fast, industrially viable, and environmentally friendly wa...
Preprint
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Cable bacteria are electroactive bacteria that form a long, linear chain of ridged cylindrical cells. These filamentous bacteria perform centimeter-scale long-range electron transport through parallel, interconnected conductive pathways of which the detailed chemical and electrical properties are still unclear. Here, we combine ToF-SIMS (time of fl...
Article
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Abstract Filamentous cable bacteria exhibit long-range electron transport over centimetre-scale distances, which takes place in a parallel fibre structure with high electrical conductivity. Still, the underlying electron transport mechanism remains undisclosed. Here we determine the intrinsic electrical properties of the conductive fibres in cable...
Preprint
Full-text available
Filamentous cable bacteria display unrivalled long-range electron transport, generating electrical currents over centimeter distances through a highly ordered network of fibers embedded in their cell envelope. The conductivity of these periplasmic wires is exceptionally high for a biological material, but their chemical structure and underlying ele...
Article
Full-text available
Long before the age of microelectronics, a group of filamentous microorganisms named cable bacteria developed an electrical network within their own cell structure. In article number 2000006, Jean V. Manca and co‐workers present the local electrical pathways for cable bacteria using conductive atomic force microscopy, showing a fail‐safe electrical...
Article
Full-text available
Cable bacteria are an emerging class of electroactive organisms that sustain unprecedented long‐range electron transport across centimeter‐scale distances. The local pathways of the electrical currents in these filamentous microorganisms remain unresolved. Here, the electrical circuitry in a single cable bacterium is visualized with nanoscopic reso...
Preprint
Full-text available
Filamentous cable bacteria exhibit unprecedented long-range biological electron transport, which takes place in a parallel fibre structure that shows an extraordinary electrical conductivity for a biological material. Still, the underlying electron transport mechanism remains undisclosed. Here we determine the intrinsic electrical properties of ind...
Preprint
Cable Bacteria are an emerging class of electroactive organisms that sustain unprecedented long-range electron transport across centimeter-scale distances. The pathways of the electrical currents in these filamentous microorganisms remain unresolved. Here, the electrical circuitry in a single cable bacterium is visualized with nanoscopic resolution...
Article
Two novel high gap donor polymers – PBDTTSi-TzBI and PBDTTS-TzBI, based on imide-fused benzotriazole (TzBI) with asymmetric side chains and alkylsilyl (Si) or alkylthio (S) substituted 4,8-di(thien-2-yl)benzo-[1,2-b:4,5-b′]dithiophene (BDTT) – are successfully synthesized. The effect of the side chain variation on the photophysical, morphological a...
Article
Full-text available
Biological electron transport is classically thought to occur over nanometre distances, yet recent studies suggest that electrical currents can run along centimetre-long cable bacteria. The phenomenon remains elusive, however, as currents have not been directly measured, nor have the conductive structures been identified. Here we demonstrate that c...
Article
Two push-pull type conjugated polymers - PIDTT-BTz and PIDTT-DTBTz, based on the ladder-type donor unit indacenodithieno[3,2-b]thiophene (IDTT) and bithiazole (BTz) as acceptor component - are designed and synthesized for photovoltaic applications. The polymers exhibit relatively high optical gaps of similar to 2.0 eV with strong absorption in the...
Article
Fullerene-free organic photovoltaics have recently reached impressive power conversion efficiencies above 14% for single junctions, increasing their competitiveness with respect to alternative thin-film technologies. In most record devices, electron-donating conjugated polymers are combined with novel generation small molecule acceptors. All-polyme...
Article
A significant number of organic electronic devices rely on blends of electron-donating and electron-accepting molecules. In bulk heterojunction organic photovoltaics, the nanoscopic phase behavior of the two individual components within the photoactive layer has a major impact on the charge separation and charge transport properties. For polymer:fu...
Article
Porphyrinoid small molecules can be used as electron donor or acceptor components in bulk heterojunction organic solar cells, which has resulted in steadily improving power conversion efficiencies. However, the effect of material purity is often neglected. In this work, a series of D1-A-π-D2-π-A-D1 conjugated chromophores based on the A 2 B 2 -meso...
Article
A series of random terpolymers with donor-acceptor-donor-acceptor molecular configuration, comprised of fluorinated benzotriazole (FTAZ) and thienothiophene-capped diketopyrrolopyrrole (TTDPP) as the first and second electron-accepting moieties and thienyl-substituted benzodithiophene (BDTT) as the electron-donating unit, are designed for polymer s...
Article
Full-text available
Cable bacteria are long, multicellular micro-organisms that are capable of transporting electrons from cell to cell along the longitudinal axis of their centimeter-long filaments. The conductive structures that mediate this long-distance electron transport are thought to be located in the cell envelope. Therefore, this study examines in detail the...
Article
Full-text available
For almost sixty years, solar energy for space applications has relied on inorganic photovoltaics, evolving from solar cells made of single crystalline silicon to triple junctions based on germanium and III-V alloys. The class of organic-based photovoltaics, which ranges from all-organic to hybrid perovskites, has the potential of becoming a disrup...
Article
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The OSCAR project was developed in the framework of the REXUS/BEXUS program. This program is a joint collaborative agreement between the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and the Swedish National Space Board (SNSB), where the Swedish share of the balloon payload is made available for European university student experiments with collaboration of the Eur...
Article
Extensive research on organic photovoltaics has granted impressive power conversion efficiencies, nowadays exceeding 13% for state-of-the-art photoactive material combinations. Nevertheless, different strategies can be adopted to further enhance the efficiency and the competitiveness with alternative photovoltaic technologies. Conjugated polyelectr...
Article
Conjugated polymers applied in organic electronics (notably photovoltaics and photodetectors) generally exhibit relatively low dielectric constants (εr 3−4), which leads to significant recombination losses of photogenerated excitons. As a direct consequence, the performance of the resulting devices is inherently restricted. Some efforts have been d...
Article
Organic photovoltaics (OPV) offer a low-cost and esthetically appealing thin-film alternative to the well-known silicon-based solar panels, opening up new applications and markets. A substantial increase in power conversion efficiency (to over 13%) has been achieved for these organic solar cells over the last decade, largely as a result of intensiv...
Conference Paper
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Balloon programmes and related research,p. 1-6 Abstract: Novel thin film solar cells exhibit unprecedented specific power, which is a key figure of merit for space applications. To get a first indication of their possible degradation in space environments, the OSCAR (‘Optical Sensors based on CARbon materials’) team has built a solar cell performan...
Article
In this review article, Wagner et al. (Article No. 201700394) shed light on a multi-functional family of materials known as “the perovskites”, which are all derived from CaTiO3. Smart modifications in structure and composition result in a plethora of special features, including magnetism, superconductivity, catalytic-, and photovoltaic activity. To...
Article
Perovskites are a huge family of compounds to which the natural titanium mineral CaTiO3 is the common ancestor. The cubic structure looks apparently simple, but the variety of metal ions and mixtures thereof that fit into a perovskite lattice is tremendous. Even in the case that the ionic radii do not allow for a perfect cubic ordering, there are v...
Article
Although research in the field of organic photovoltaics (OPV) still merely focuses on efficiency, efforts to increase the sustainability of the production process and the materials encompassing the device stack are of equally crucial importance to fulfil the promises of a truly renewable source of energy. In this study, a number of steps in this di...
Article
In this work we report on the eco-friendly processing of PBDTTPD:PC71BM organic solar cells using water-based nanoparticle (NP) dispersions. The polymer:fullerene NPs are prepared using the miniemulsion-solvent evaporation method, despite employing high-boiling solvents. Polymer solar cells are fabricated from these blend NPs and the device charact...
Article
In this work we report on the eco-friendly processing of PBDTTPD:PC71BM organic solar cells using water-based nanoparticle (NP) dispersions. The polymer:fullerene NPs are prepared using the miniemulsion-solvent evaporation method, despite employing high-boiling solvents. Polymer solar cells are fabricated from these blend NPs and the device charact...
Article
The power conversion efficiency of halide perovskite solar cells is heavily dependent on the perovskite layer being sufficiently smooth and pinhole-free. It has been shown that these features can be obtained even when starting out from rough and discontinuous perovskite film, by briefly exposing it to methylamine (MA) vapor. The exact underlying ph...
Article
We report the controlled preparation of water processable nanoparticles (NPs) employing the push-pull polymer PCDTBT and the fullerene acceptor PC71BM in order to enable solar cell processing using eco-friendly solvent (i.e. water). The presented method provides the possibility to separate the formation of the active layer blend and the deposition...
Article
Three extended 2,5-dithienylthiazolo[5,4-d]thiazole-based small molecule chromophores are prepared via a sustainable direct arylation approach and their physicochemical and opto-electrical material characteristics are analyzed toward integration in solution-processed bulk heterojunction organic photovoltaics. Efficient charge separation and high va...
Article
Determining the mechanism of charge transport through native DNA remains a challenge as different factors such as measuring conditions, molecule conformations and choice of technique can significantly affect the final results. In this contribution, we have used a new approach to measure current flowing through isolated double-stranded DNA molecules...
Article
In disordered organic semiconductors, the transfer of a rather localized charge carrier from one site to another triggers a deformation of the molecular structure, quantified by the intramolecular relaxation energy. A similar structural relaxation occurs upon population of intermolecular charge-transfer (CT) states formed at organic electron donor...
Article
We report the controlled preparation of water processable nanoparticles (NPs) employing the push-pull polymer PCDTBT and the fullerene acceptor PC71BM in order to enable solar cell processing using eco-friendly solvent (i.e. water). The presented method provides the possibility to separate the formation of the active layer blend and the deposition...
Article
Conjugated polymers and small molecules based on alternating electron donating (D) and electron accepting (A) building blocks have led to state-of-the-art organic solar cell materials governing efficiencies beyond 10%. Unfortunately, the connection of D and A building blocks via cross-coupling reactions does not always proceed as planned, which can...
Article
Ternary organic photovoltaic devices were prepared through the addition of small amounts of metalloporphyin-terthiophenes to two established low bandgap polymer:fullerene blends. The methodology afforded a PCDTBT:PC71BM-based device that displayed an initial power conversion efficiency of 5.1%, an increase of 16% when compared to the binary blend....
Article
Nanoparticles have been increasingly studied due to their unique properties. The deposition of uniform layers with these nanoparticles however is a crucial step in many of their applications. In this work, ultrasonic spray coating is the technique of choice as it is by design well-suited for the deposition of nano-suspension dispersions. The influe...
Article
Currently, both low bandgap conjugated polymers and small molecule analogues are employed as electron donor components in state of the art bulk heterojunction organic photovoltaics, providing similar record efficiencies (∼10%). However, to evaluate molecular structure-device performance relations and (in particular) the effect of material purity, s...
Article
Conjugated polyelectrolyte (CPE) interfacial layers present a powerful way to boost the I-V characteristics of organic photovoltaics. Nevertheless, clear guidelines with respect to the structure of high-performance interlayers are still lacking. In this work, impedance spectroscopy is applied to probe the dielectric permittivity of a series of poly...
Article
Full-text available
Intensive development of organometal halide perovskite solar cells has lead to a dramatic surge in power conversion efficiency up to 20%. Unfortunately, the most efficient perovskite solar cells all contain lead (Pb), which is an unsettling flaw that leads to severe environmental concerns and is therefore a stumbling block envisioning their large-s...
Article
Full-text available
Three extended molecular chromophores, differing in their central acceptor moiety and specifically designed as electron donor components for small molecule organic solar cells, are synthesized via a two-fold C–H arylation protocol. Upon removal of the side products inherent to the applied direct (hetero)arylation procedure, a record power conversio...
Research
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To establish a correlation between the molecular structure, physicochemical properties, thin film morphology, charge carrier mobility and photovoltaic performance of isoindigo-based electron donor type molecular semiconductors, a series of branched and linear A2-D-A1-D-A2small molecules (A = acceptor, D = donor)are synthesized. The extended π-conju...
Conference Paper
Ultrasonic spray coating is currently proven to be a reliable, flexible and cost efficient fabrication method for printed electronics [1-2]. Ultrasonic nozzles are by design especially well-suited to deposit nano-suspension dispersions. Due to the ultrasonic vibration of the nozzle, droplets having a median diameter of 20 μm are created in a homoge...
Article
Organic photovoltaics (OPV) have attracted great interest as a solar cell technology with appealing mechanical, aesthetical, and economies-of-scale features. To drive OPV toward economic viability, low-cost, large-scale module production has to be realized in combination with increased top-quality material availability and minimal batch-to-batch va...
Article
Perovskite solar cells are well known to degrade under post-fabrication stress, among others due to humidity as a consequence of the hydrophilic properties of the organic cation. On the other hand, it has been shown that the controlled addition of water molecules during the formation of the perovskite (while starting from water-free precursor mater...
Article
Full-text available
To explore the effectiveness of monofluorinated isoindigo as an electron-deficient building block in push–pull conjugated polymers for organic solar cell applications, four low bandgap copolymers are effectively synthesized and characterized. The effects of fluorine introduction, thiophene spacer length and polymer molar mass on the general electro...
Article
The performance of polymer solar cells is strongly dependent on the morphology of the photoactive layer, which can be optimized by tuning the polymer side chain pattern. Whereas most studies focus on length and bulkiness, the side chain density receives much less attention. In this work, the effect of the number of side chains on PCPDTQx(2F) low ba...
Article
Full-text available
Organolead halide perovskites currently are the new front-runners as light absorbers in hybrid solar cells, as they combine efficiencies passing already 20% with deposition temperatures below 100 °C and cheap solution-based fabrication routes. Long-term stability remains a major obstacle for application on an industrial scale. Here, it is demonstra...
Article
Three distinct low bandgap copolymers are synthesized by the combination of N-(2′-propylpentanoyl)dithieno[3,2-b:2′,3′-d]pyrrole (DTP) and (fluorinated) 2,3-bis[5′-(2”-ethylhexyl)thiophen-2′-yl]quinoxaline (Qx) and these PDTPQx derivatives are investigated as electron donor materials in bulk heterojunction polymer solar cells. Due to the DTP N-acyl...
Article
Although a strong link between the molar mass of conjugated polymers and the performance of the resulting polymer:fullerene bulk heterojunction organic solar cells has been established on numerous occasions, a clear understanding on the origin of this connection is still lacking. Moreover, the usual description of molar mass and polydispersity does...
Article
We have investigated fine grained polycrystalline silicon thin films grown by direct chemical vapor deposition on oxidized silicon substrates. More specifically, we analyze the influence of the doping type on the properties of this model polycrystalline silicon material. This includes an investigation of defect passivation and benchmarking of minor...
Article
Full-text available
In recent years, organic printable electronics has gained more and more attention [1]. The development and characterization of new printing techniques and functional inks is vital to accomplish solution processable, large area organic electronic devices e.g.: organic photovoltaics (OPV) [2], organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs)[3]. In this study a...
Article
Organic photovoltaics represent a promising thin-film solar cell technology with appealing mechanical, aesthetical, and cost features. In recent years, a strong growth in power conversion efficiency (to over 10%) has been realized for organic solar cells through extensive material and device research. To be competitive in the renewable energy marke...
Article
The molecular weight of poly(3-hexylthiophene) is an important factor influencing the photovoltaic properties of bulk heterojunction organic solar cells based on this material. However, since different synthetic processes or repetitive soxhlet extractions - generally applied to obtain the different molecular weight batches under study - result in s...
Article
Here we report the fabrication of nanofibre-based organic phototransistors (OPTs) using preformed poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) nanofibres. OPT performance is analysed based on two important parameters: photoresponsivity R and photosensitivity P. Before testing the devices as OPTs, the normal organic field-effect transistor (OFET) operation is char...
Data
Full-text available
Graphene has potential for applications in solar cells. We show that the short circuit current density of P3HT (Poly(3-hexylthiophene-2,5-diyl):PCBM((6,6)-Phenyl C61 butyric acid methyl ester) solar cells is enhanced by 10% upon the addition of graphene, with a 15% increase in the photon to electric conversion efficiency. We discuss the performance...
Article
To establish a correlation between the molecular structure, physicochemical properties, thin film morphology, charge carrier mobility and photovoltaic performance of isoindigo-based electron donor type molecular semiconductors, a series of branched and linear A(2)-D-A(1)-D-A(2) small molecules (A = acceptor, D = donor) are synthesized. The extended...
Article
Full-text available
The effect of fluorination on the optoelectronic properties and the polymer:fullerene solar cell characteristics of PCPDTQx-type (poly{4-(2’-ethylhexyl)-4-octyl-4H-cyclopenta[2,1-b:3,4-b’]dithiophene-alt-2,3-bis[5’-(2’’-ethylhexyl)thiophen-2’-yl]quinoxaline}) low bandgap copolymers is reported. The introduction of fluorine atoms on the quinoxaline...
Article
Printed chalcopyrite thin films have attracted considerable attention in recent years due to their potential in the high-throughput production of photovoltaic devices. To improve the homogeneity of printed CuInSe2 (CISe) layers, chemical additives such as binder can be added to the precursor ink. In this contribution, we investigate the influence o...