From “living” materials to quantum optical materials – Advanced characterization of photoactive organic polyradicals as strongly-correlated spin systems.
Supervisor: Dr. Giovanni Fanchini
Project Description (Abstract):
Organic optoelectronics investigates the use of organic materials based on the element carbon (of which living organisms are made) as quantum materials that have the potential to improve digital and analog devices key areas of opto-electronics. Demonstrated organic opto-electronic devices include organic field-effect transistors and phototransistors, organic data storage components, organic photovoltaics (a.k.a. “plastic solar cells”), organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) and many others. Rather than directly competing with silicon in areas of opto-electronics in which this material works well, the objective of organic optoelectronics researchers (physicists, chemists, and engineers) is the design of faster, more compact, and more cost-effective components and integrated devices, to be used in sectors of next-generation consumer electronics in which silicon components are too costly, or they are underperforming. Our team has accumulated unique expertise in the synthesis, characterization, and applications in memory devices, of electronic-grade layers of advanced organic optoelectronics materials, specifically: thin films of photoactive organic polyradicals – organic polymers in which each subunit contains an unpaired electron spin. From a Physics point of view, these systems are of unique interest as examples of electron spins chains – strongly correlated one-dimensional spin systems that students can easily fabricate and characterize in the lab.