Imperial College London
My research aims to use the vibrations of organic molecules for the development of next-generation electronic devices.
An exciting alternative to the currently used silicon-based electronic technology is the so-called ‘organic electronics’ that employ organic and biological molecules to conduct and control electrical current. Organic devices can be fabricated just by dissolving molecules in an ink and depositing electrical circuits using simple printing techniques. Organic electronics is still an emerging technology which, however, can make our smartphones, computers, or illumination devices more compact, cheap, and energy efficient.
One very special property of organic molecules is that they are flexible and can change their behaviour when deformed. By slightly altering the molecular structure, one can change its electric conductivity. This effect, known as ‘vibronic coupling’, is not understood very well, though it paves the way to many technological developments. It may help making one single molecule to work as an electric switch, a memory unit, or a complete logical element.
In my work, I use ultrafast flashes of infrared light to induce molecular deformations (vibrations) inside the organic electronic devices. Vibrations change the shape of the molecules, as well as their electronic properties and complete device performance. These experiments help to evaluate the vibronic coupling effects and, thus, to design better electronic materials and devices.
I also hope to learn more about the charge conduction in (bio)electronic systems developed by nature, such as the photosynthetic machinery in plants or ionic signalling in neuron systems.
Interests and expertise (Subject groups)