Electronic Processes in Far-From-Equilibrium Nano-to-Mesoscale Objects


Construction of soft nanostructures that possess ground-state configurations predisposed to facilitate charge migration remains an elusive goal. We are currently developing redox-stimulated self-assemblies that feature non-thermodynamic ground-state organization of hierarchical π-stacks to optimize charge carrier mobility in non-equilibrium organic materials. This bottom-up methodology will be utilized to self-construct organic nanowires that efficiently interconnect pre-patterned metallic electrodes to engineer low-power and flexible high-density integrated logic circuits.

Organic Piezoelectric Materials


Despite the significant potential of organic piezoelectric materials for mechanical energy harvesting and electronic skin applications, progress in this area has been limited due to the lack of soft mesoscale structures that feature substantial macroscopic polarizabilities. To this end, non-centrosymmetric molecular architectures featuring a strong piezoelectric effect are currently engineered by exploiting a bio-inspired self-replication mechanism to propagate non-equilibrium structures across nano-to-meso-scale dimensions.  These hierarchical 3D materials, self-constructed on conductive substrates, will pave the way to conceive a new generation of tactile sensors and mechanical energy harvesters.

Supramolecular p-n Diodes to Probe Light-Matter Interaction in Far-From-Equilibrium Nanoscale Objects


It has been a long-standing goal for chemists to control the exact geometry of organic p-n junction at the molecular level in bulk heterojunction solar cells. To satisfy this need, supramolecular charge transfer nanostructures with spatially controlled p-n interfaces will be engineered. After light-driven electron-hole pair formation, orthogonally oriented charge migration pathways are expected to prevent the undesired interfacial free carrier recombination commonly encountered in organic photovoltaics. Special emphasis will be given to derive these nanostructures into solid-state ordered materials and maximize charge injection into terminal electrodes.