Center for Polymers and Organic Solids

Founded in 1982 as Institute for Polymers and Organic Solids (IPOS) by Alan Heeger and Fred Wudl, was converted to CPOS in 2000. CPOS is an interdisciplinary effort that merges efforts in physics, chemistry, polymer science and biology. It draws upon expertise from these fields to conduct fundamental research on a new class of materials: conjugated organic polymers with delocalized electronic conductivity, anisotropic linear and nonlinear optical properties, and novel electrochemical properties. To succeed in better understanding these novel materials, the center has capabilities in experimental physics, synthetic chemistry, biochemistry, and polymer processing and characterization. The center has become an international focal point for research in this field, with visitors from all over the world. Recent accomplishments of the center include important contributions to the chemistry of the fullerenes, the development of efficient light emitting diodes made from conducting polymers, and the demonstration of a unique structure-property relation that leads to high performance nonlinear optical properties of semiconducting polymers. Researchers at CPOS are currently finding ways to reduce the cost of solar cells. Their goal: to make photovoltaics at least as cheap as the grid.