HomeEducationGraduate and Undergraduate ProgramsResearch Experience for Undergraduates (REU)REU 2021 ProjectsTrapping Light to Rewire Organic Semiconductors

Trapping Light to Rewire Organic Semiconductors

Professor: Andrew Musser

Project Description
: Carbon-based ‘organic’ semiconductors can be incorporated many of the devices that underpin our information economy – solar cells, transistors, cell phone and television OLED displays – but it can be challenging to tune and optimize their properties through molecular design. Instead, we can alter their functional behavior non-synthetically, by confining them in optical microcavities. Interactions with light trapped in these structures create entirely new states with enhanced properties for charge and energy transport, new behavior in light absorption and emission, and even altered chemical reactivity. This project seeks to understand how these surprising effects link to the molecular and microcavity structure so that they can be rationally designed, allowing us to rewrite the properties of organic materials at will. An REU student will work with the group’s graduate students, postdoc and professor to design and fabricate these high-precision structures, gaining experience in optical simulation and organic semiconductor device processing. We will then use short, powerful laser pulses to record ultrafast ‘movies’ of the electronic dynamics in these structures, revealing how the confined light alters their functional behavior. (This project is offered In-Person)

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