My research concerns the science and application of novel semiconductor materials and devices and contributes to the associated development of a new technology platform, widely known as Plastic Electronics. This platform embodies a paradigm shift towards low temperature, solution-based device fabrication, with great potential for use in, for example, energy efficient displays and lighting, photovoltaic energy generation, large-area electronics, medical diagnostics and polymer waveguide/plastic fibre based datacomms. The discovery of conjugated polymer electroluminescence for poly(p-phenylenevinylene) in 1989 proved to be a key event in the development of the Plastic Electronics field, with a highly-cited 1990 Nature paper on this topic acting as the trigger point for an explosion of interest in solution processed semiconductors.
My long-standing research interests include the critical control of conjugated polymer electronic/optoelectronic/photonic properties via chemical and physical structure and consequent approaches to device optimization. Understanding the similarities and differences between molecular and more traditional inorganic semiconductors has been a major theme of my work. Within this theme, the influence of localized wavefunctions, of the anisotropy in intra- and inter-molecular interactions and of conformational and other disorder has been a particular focus. In this context, nanometer layer thicknesses in LED and photovoltaic device structures lead to important optical interference and confinement effects in the near UV, through visible, to near IR spectral range of interest: The nano-scale structure provides the necessary modulation of properties on an optical path length scale to tune light propagation and produce resonance conditions that can adjust the light matter interaction. In this context, my work also constitutes a commercially promising component of the “bottom-up” approach to nano-science/-technology.
Another important aspect of my work has been to learn how best to exert control over the required electronic properties through chemical and physical structure, especially via molecular orientation. Technique development for in-situ probing of optical, morphological and electronic properties in device structures is another strong interest. Finally, hybrid structures that combine organic and inorganic semiconductors as layers or blends and solution-processed metal-oxides are both of increasing current interest.
Light Emitting Diodes, Polymers, Organic Polymers, Electroluminescence, Photoluminescence
In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):