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PolyU chemistry scholar received Higher Education Outstanding Scientific Research Output Award from the Ministry of Education

24 Aug 2023


Congratulations to Prof. Raymond Wai-yeung WONG, Dean of Faculty of Science, ADoRISE & Chair Professor of Chemical Technology, on receiving the Higher Education Outstanding Scientific Research Output Award (Science and Technology) 2022 from the Ministry of Education (MOE) with a Second-Class Award in Natural Science for a collaborative research project on “Alkylthio Side-Chain Engineering of High-Performance Organic Photovoltaic Materials”.

Prof. WONG’s project was conducted in collaboration with scholars from Soochow University, Institute of Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences and Hong Kong Baptist University.

Organic solar cells, particularly polymer solar cells, have garnered wide recognition as a promising photovoltaic (solar panel) technology due to their unique advantages of low cost, lightweight, flexibility and semi-transparency. Nevertheless, the most critical issue in research lies in enhancing the power conversion efficiency (PCE) of organic solar cells.

The rational manipulation of energy levels of organic photovoltaic materials to enhance the open-circuit voltage of devices is one of the effective strategies for improving device efficiency. However, there is a lack of a universal and simple molecular design strategy to achieve it. 

The research team has developed an alkylthio side-chain engineering strategy, which functionalises the flexible side-chains as the energy level regulator for organic photovoltaic materials. This strategy can effectively regulate the energy levels of organic photovoltaic materials, leading to an improvement in their open-circuit voltage and, consequently, enhancing power conversion efficiency. 

While flexible side-chain is an essential component of organic photovoltaic materials to ensure their solution processability, the alkylthio side-chain engineering strategy demonstrates its universal and unique feature. The strategy has been widely recognised as an important molecular design strategy for high-performance organic photovoltaic materials. 

Prof. WONG said, “This award is an important affirmation of our research achievements. It inspires us to keep working hard on our research journey and striving to innovate with research that makes a great contribution to the community.” 

Prof. WONG’s research focuses on the design and synthesis of molecular functional materials and metallopolymers with photofunctional properties and energy functions. The research team aims to develop sustainable energy sources and improve technologies for energy conversion, contributing to sustainable development.

About the Higher Education Outstanding Scientific Research Output Awards

The Higher Education Outstanding Scientific Research Output Awards (Science and Technology) were set up by the MOE to recognise outstanding research projects at tertiary institutions nationwide. The award is presented to individuals or units who have made remarkable contributions in science and technology advancement, translational research and talent cultivation.

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