Scheme: Wolfson Research Merit Awards
Organisation: University of Strathclyde
Dates: Jan 2014-Dec 2018
Summary: The Skabara group has developed a synthetic approach that allows the synthesis of monodisperse organic semiconductor macromolecules on the gram scale. In contrast to conjugated polymers, batches are prepared with 100% reproducibility and the products can be isolated in high purity. These attributes are extremely well valued, because subsequent work towards device optimisation (design, processing, annealing, etc.) can rely on the consistent behaviour of the organic semiconductor. These materials have been used as active components in organic lasers with several record-breaking lowest thresholds recorded, organic solar cells with highly promising efficiencies for molecular species, and field effect transistors with excellent air stability.
The current landscape in organic semiconductors is split between two generic types of materials, so-called 'small molecules' and polymers. Both sets possess strong advantages and disadvantages in comparison with each other, such as processability (vacuum vs solution deposition), synthetic reproducibility (monodisperse vs polydisperse), purification (far easier for small molecules), and crystallinity (usually high with small molecules, usually limited in polymers, benefits depend on application).
There is relatively very little activity on structures that sit between these two types of materials. Well defined and monodisperse oligomers can be considered to be intermediate of conjugated small molecules and polymers, and can feature the best of both sets of attributes. The aim of the Fellowship is to produce gram/multigram amounts of new multifunctional materials and to work with academic and industrial beneficiaries to exploit these highly promising systems in various applications.
Organic semiconductors, synthesis, electrochemistry, self-assembly, organic light emitting devices, photonics, hybrid devices, photovoltaics.