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Welcome to the Laboratory of Functional Fullerene Materials
 
Theme: Synthesis, functionalization and applications of novel nanocarbons

Project 1: Synthesis, isolation and characterization of novel endohedral fullerenes

Endohedral fullerenes represent a novel type of nanocarbons, which are characterized by a robust fullerene cage with atoms, ions, or clusters trapped in its hollow. We are endeavoring to synthesize novel endohedral fullerenes with special focus on clusterfullerenes such as Sc3N@C82, TiSc2N@C80, Sc2S@C82, YCN@C82, and aiming to enlarge the family of endohedral fullerenes to understand their formation mechanism and explore their potential applications in e.g. polymer solar cells. Endohedral fullerenes would be isolated by High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) and characterized by a number of spectroscopic methods (MS, UV-vis-NIR, FTIR, Raman, NMR) as well as X-ray crystallographic and electron microscopic study. Furthermore, novel nanostructures of endohedral fullerenes have been also prepared toward the applications in energy and catalysis etc.
synthesis

Project 2: Functionalization of (endohedral) fullerenes and graphenes

Chemical functionalization of (endohedral) fullerenes and graphenes is crucial for their applications in energy, materials science and biomedicines etc. Currently we focus on the synthesis of novel functional fullerene derivatives for potential applications in e.g. polymer solar cells and biomedicines, including the photoactive fullerene derivatives as novel acceptors. Another direction based mainly on a collaborative project is the study of fullerene skeletal transformations via chlorination reaction. Besides, synthesizing novel fullerene-based hybrid with other nanocarbons is also our recent research interest.
functionalization

Project 3: Application of fullerenes in polymer solar cells (PSCs) and Perovskite solar cells (PVKSCs)

Fullerene-based polymer solar cells (PSCs) have been attracting great interest and showing bright prospect for inexpensive solar energy conversion. So far the most efficient architecture to build fullerene-based PSCs is the bulk heterojunction (BHJ) structure comprising of an interpenetrating network of a p-type conjugated polymer donor (e.g. P3HT) and a soluble n-type fullerene acceptor (e.g. PCBM) as the photoactive layer. The highest record for the power conversion efficiencies obtained in laboratory for fullerene-based PSCs is 11.5%. In addition to the effort to develop novel fullerene derivative acceptors, currently we also focus on improving the device efficiency via interface engineering (incoporating novel cathode/anode buffer layers) or doping in active layer.
solar cell

Fundings:

Key Project of Hefei Center for Physical Science and Technology

National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC)

The Ministry of Science and Technology of China

(National Basic Research Program of China National Key Research and Development Program of China

Equipment donation from Alexander von Humboldt (AvH) Foundation

Startup funding of USTC; the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities;

Incubation Funding for Innotative Research Teams, USTC;

USTC-NSRL Association Funding

Ministry of Education of the Peoples of Republic of China (Specialized Research Fund for the Doctoral Program of Higher Education No. WJ2060140006; Scientific Research Foundation for the Returned Overseas Chinese Scholars);

Specialized Research Fund for the Doctoral Program of Higher Education;

Innovation Project of Anhui Municipal Education Commission.