In the new design, a polarized organic molecule's donor and acceptor ends are connected by an organic bridge consisting of carbon, nitrogen and sulfur atoms that form interspersed ring structures to confine the electrons passing through them. With the electrons thus confined, interference from electron wave reflections is minimized, thereby enhancing efficiency.
The current design has just one quantum confinement cell within the chromophore molecule, but Kuzyk claims his group's theoretical models predict that more quantum confinement areas would result in even greater efficiency. Consequently, next the researchers plan to cascade quantum-confinement cells back-to-back.
The ability to hyperpolarize the new material, according to Kuzyk, enables its molecules to deform as they mediate the merger of two photons into one, opening the door to all-optical switches. Thus the researchers are working to embed the chromophore material into an optically clear polymer that could be formed into a thin film for making and testing optical-chip designs.