Excitonic processes can be engineered by approaches such as developing new materials, combining materials in clever ways, creating novel device architectures, controlling molecular orientation, and exploiting little-known physical processes. In this project, we will develop ways to engineer properties including the energy levels of singlet and triplet excited states, radiative and non-radiative decay, and exciton diffusion, fission, and annihilation.
To accomplish these goals, we are pursuing a multidisciplinary approach with five major areas: computational quantum chemistry, organic synthesis, device design, processing control, and optoelectronic device physics. Computational quantum chemistry helps guide us in the design of new molecules through the simulation of molecular properties before the compounds are synthesized. Through organic synthesis, we are physically creating these new molecules to obtain desired properties and functionalities such as specific emission colors, energy levels, decay processes, and more.
Using thin layers (films) of these materials, we are designing and fabricating devices. Device properties can be controlled through the proper selection and combination of materials, development of new architectures, and nano-structuring of layers. Careful control of the processing of films and devices, such as growth rate and environment, allows us to influence molecular interactions and device properties by adjusting the orientation and distribution of molecules. By studying device and film physics, we can explain how these processes interact to produce the properties we observe and find new pathways for influencing these properties.
Advances in organic electronics will be made by continually feeding back the knowledge we gain in each area into the others. Building from the technology of organic light-emitting diodes used in displays, we are striving to develop new high-performance devices with high added value such as organic transistors, organic solar cells, organic semiconductor lasers, and bio-compatible electronics. Aside from advances in established technologies, we also expect to discover new functionalities and applications that go beyond what is available today through this basic research of excitonic processes.