“Designing novel organic semiconductors towards next-generation iono-electronic devices”
Hosted by the Institute of Materials Science & Engineering
Abstract: The implementation of smart body-machine interfaces is attractive for both healthcare applications and future consumer products. Fusing the body and machines, however, requires electronic hardware with i) excellent mechanical compliance, ii) operational stability in physiological environments, iii) reliable harnessing, discerning, amplification, and transduction of physiological information, and iv) ability to adapt or learn from physiological surroundings and execute tasks accordingly. For this highly demanding task, iono-electronics, where a semiconductor responds to incoming ions and undergoes a property change (electronic, optical, mechanical) which is in turn detected or utilized for a specific application are promising candidates. Though conjugated polymers have shown to be ideal conductors for such applications, only a few mixed conductors are studied to date and a one-material-fits-all bottleneck continues to hamper rapid advancements. The challenge lies in the lack of a cross-disciplinary design approach of high-performance materials. Establishing the needed balance between the two antagonistic modes of transport (ion permeability and electronic charge transport) to yield high performance devices has not only become an exciting field of fundamental research, but also a conduit towards advanced electronics. My lab at MIT (the laboratory of organic materials for smart electronics, OMSE Lab) employs molecular design to meet performance requirements in polymer-based iono-electronics. In this talk, I will share our ongoing efforts in designing novel semiconductors with varying degrees of ion-responsiveness and the scope of applications enabled by molecular tuning. I will share how we can leverage existing knowledge on semiconducting polymers to design novel mixed conductors. I will highlight our copolymerization approach as a facile route to yield a library of mixed conductors, enabling a variety of applications ranging from rapidly switching electrochemical transistors, to smart sensors, and high-fidelity artificial synapses. Lastly, my talk will introduce how we are utilizing these novel conductors to design redox-active nanocomposites combining biocompatibility, electrochemical sensing, and neuromorphic signal processing towards high performance bio-probes.
For inquiries contact Beth Gartin.