Two-Photon Characterization of Substituted (T8) Cage Silesequioxanes

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The University of Maryland McNair Scholars Undergraduate Research Journal, Vol. 3, 2011: 57-69.



An efficient source of alternative energy has yet to be developed. Solar energy, the most viable and sustainable source of renewable energy, remains less effective due to limitations in absorbing materials to convert direct sunlight into useful solar cell devices. However, this flaw can be circumvented if solar panels had the capability to convert infrared radiation into useable energy. The focus of this study is the evaluation of the non-linear optical properties of silsesquioxane (caged {T8}) molecules through ultrafast two-photon spectroscopy to determine their applicability in creating more effective solar energy devices (Laine et al, 2010; Sulaiman et al, 2008). The two photon absorption measurements were carried out using 770 to 830nm, 30 femto-second pulses. The results revealed that there are maxima for the cross sections near 800nm for the different caged molecules studied. The increase in cross section is correlated with increasing substitution of electron donating groups on the cage. This data provides further support for these materials to be used in applications of near infrared solar absorption devices.