By twisting when excited, some long chains of organic molecules can isolate triplet excitons at opposite ends of the molecule. Credit: NREL

In the twisting and turning of long organic molecules, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) researchers have found a promising group of materials for tomorrow’s super-efficient solar cells.

In a new paper in Nature Chemistry, NREL researchers demonstrated how a carefully designed molecule can efficiently split the energy imparted by one photon into two excited states and keep them separated for several microseconds—a long time at the molecular scale. The three authors—Nadia Korovina, Chris Chang, and Justin Johnson—drew on their diverse expertise in chemistry and computer modeling to design this new molecule and learn how it functions.

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