Organic solar cells based on plastic and small molecule semiconductors: synthesis of new materials, nanoscale characterization, and device fabrication, engineering and optimization.

Synthesis, design and applications of conjugated polymers and related small molecules for incorporation into emerging optoelectronic technologies such as light-emitting diodes, thin film transistors, electrochemical cells and photovoltaic devices.

The performance of organic electronic devices is profoundly influenced by the nanoscale morphology of the organic film. For example, the active layer of a bulk heterojunction organic photovoltaic (BHJ OPV) device is a ~100 nm thick film consisting of a blend of an electron donating and electron accepting material that phase segregates to form nanoscale, bicontinuous domains. The size, purity, order, and distribution of these nanoscale domains all affect each of the processes that govern solar cell efficiency. Therefore, having control over nanoscale morphology is of great importance.

Charge carrier transport and carrier recombination govern the operation of all electronic devices, including those utilizing organic semiconductors. Thus, understanding charge transport and charge recombination in organic semiconductors is a prerequisite for successfully designing future high performance organic electronic devices.

The operation of organic electronic devices strongly depends on the charge injection or charge extraction properties of the metal contact. The interfaces between metal electrodes and organic semiconducting materials play a crucial role in these processes.

Optically amplified fluorescent biosensors that take advantage of light-harvesting, water soluble conjugated polyelectrolytes. Transmembrane electron transfer via embedded oligomers for microbial fuel power generation.