The fate of nanoparticles and chemicals used to make solar cells

Problem Title

The fate of nanoparticles and chemicals used to make solar cells

Scientific Title

Organic photovoltaics: dangerous toxins or harmless chemicals?

Student: 
Eric Schott
Major(s): 
Chemistry
iCons Concentration: 
Biomedicine/Biosystems
iCons Class Year: 
Class of 2014
Executive Summary 

Since the new millennia, the need for efficient renewable energy has been brought to many scientist's and politician's attention. Renewable energy is essential for the safety of future generations that live on our planet. Oil is becoming more scarce and has been found to be very dangerous to our environment when used. When the first studies of Organic Photovoltaics (OPV) began in the 1950s not much attention was given to the field. Recently, this field has become very important and a lot of research is being put into finding efficient and safe OPV materials. Since the further use of OPV devices, it has also become a great concern to many people if these nanoparticles and chemicals will be safe for the public if one is exposed to these materials on a regular basis.

From this research I will be able to provide knowledge and understanding specifically to the field of Organic Photovoltaics. In addition, the discoveries I learn will be essential to bridging the gaps between the fields of biology and chemistry. Toxicity is a large topic of research in the field of biology and continues to be a major concern for the development and continuation of our species. With new input from the field of chemistry, biologists and biochemists will be able to understand how to avoid toxicity of materials in our future. Not only will I be able to refine my chemistry skills in lab and in theory, but I will also be able to apply them to a different field of study. Chemistry has helped in many ways to the field of medicine and from this research I will contribute more awareness pertaining to the toxicity of OPVs.

Problem Keywords: 
nanotechnology
solar
toxicity
Scientific Keywords: 
endocrine disruptors
organic photovoltaics
QSAR