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People's Choice Award

Semiconducting Feathers

R. R. Lunt '09
Department of Chemical Engineering
Organic electronics is an emerging field that holds promise for high-quality displays, low-power white lighting, and low-cost photovoltaic applications. This image of an organic semiconducting film was taken using an optical microscope with cross-polarizers and a Nomarski filter. The film is composed of many micron-sized crystallites with a common crystalline stacking direction that was formed through a fast melting/cooling process which led to the formation of feather-like features. The variations in color stem from the anisotropic indices of refraction in combination with the rotation of the crystallites with respect to the polarizer configuration. This film was subsequently incorporated into a thin-film photovoltaic solar cell.