The innovation engine for new materials


Electrochemical Cell Fabrication and Characterization

Prep and analysis of battery cells can be conducted in Inert Atmosphere Glove Boxes and with auxiliary prep equipment. The Prep HPLC allows analysis and purification of novel organic electronic materials for electrochemical applications.  

  • An MBraun LabMaster quad-station box laid out for turn-key preparation and analysis of electrochemical cells.  Four work stations: 1) analytical for preparing formulations, 2) electrode fabrication, 3) coin cell construction, 4) electrochemical analysis.  
  • An Innovative Technologies Glove Box is also provided for materials synthesis and composite formulation.
  • The Battery facility also includes a coin cell crimper / de-crimper, a precision punch for fabricating circular electrodes, and a FlackTek Centrifugal Mixer for homogenizing cathode / anode pastes.

Several Potentiostats are provided for testing fabricated cells:

  • The sixteen channel Bio-Logic VMP3 Potentiostat allows users to measure impedance, cyclic voltammetry, galvanostatic charge/discharge, and corrosion in photovoltaic cells (2-4 electrodes) individually or stacked in a series.  The system can deliver 400 mA continuous current per channel, 1 A bursts for 4.8 msec, with a current accuracy of 0.004% and voltage accuracy of 0.025%, and 200 μs intervals for data acquisition.
  • The five channel Bio-Logic VSP Potentiostat is designed to measure electrochemical cell response in an inert atmosphere.  Coupled to the MBraun LabMaster box, the instrument delivers the same performance as the VMP3.
  • The Bio-Logic VMP Potentiostat is effective for measuring long term cell response (over several weeks to months) in galvanostat mode. Sixteen channel configuration delivering 10 mA continuous current per channel.    

Fabrication and Characterization of Solution Processable Solar Cells

For solar cell processing,

  • Shimadzu Preparatory HPLC with Photodiode Array Detector. Analysis and purification of conjugated oligomers and fullerenes from milligram to multi-gram quantities. Separation of fullerene isomers is enhanced by Cosmosil PBB and PYE Buckyprep columns.
  • A Vac Atmospheres Inert Atmosphere Glove Box.  Processing of air-sensitive materials.  Spin coater and hot plate are available for coating and post-processing.
  • Angstrom Engineering ÅMOD Thin Film Vacuum Deposition System.  The thermal evaporator is coupled to the glove box and provides four thermal evaporation sources for metals and organic materials.  The sample stage has heating and cooling capability from 10°C to 150°C.

Standard processes are documented for basic organic solar cells, e.g. P3HT:PCBM yielding 3.5-4% efficiency cells.

For testing solar cells,

  • 2-inch Newport AM 1.5 Solar Simulator and Current Voltage Measurement System.  Measurement of AM1.5 solar cell efficiency.  The system is calibrated via certified standard photodides.
  • Spectrally Resolved External Quantum Efficiency (EQE) System.  Custom system that allows users to characterize the spectral response of solar cells from 300-1800 nm, with lock-in amplifier-based detection for high sensitivity.