To fulfill the Center's mission, the Center’s research framework shown below focuses on two Thrusts that encompass four Science and Technology Development Areas (STA). Six discrete projects comprise these four STAs.

The goal is to integrate research and development in “end-to-end”, molecules-to-systems approach.


Thrust 1 Overview

The vision of this thrust is to develop "transformative" electro-optic (EO) and all-optical (AO) materials and devices for light-weight, low power, and ultrahigh-speed information processing. This will be achieved through "end-to-end" cross-disciplinary collaboration in theory, materials synthesis, processing and device design and fabrication. The X2 and X3 activity of materials will be significantly enhanced through improved NLO chromophores and materials that are developed through theory-guided structural design, innovative synthetic chemistry and self-assembly.

The research within Thrust 1 is organized into two major science and technology areas, one on light-emitting devices and their integration with organic-field-effect transistors, and another on flexible portable photovoltaic cells combined with packaging and patterning technologies:

Materials, Devices, and Subsystems Based on Organic EO Materials with Large r33

STA 1 is organized into two main research projects:

STA 1 is focused on the molecular engineering of materials with ultrahigh electro-optic
activities and suitable optical attenuation, thermal stability, and photochemical stability,
and which can be incorporated into novel device structures for applications in ultralow
voltage EO modulators, silicon-based photonics, and terahertz emitters and sensors.

Materials with Large All-Optical Nonlinearities, Devices and Subsystems

STA 2 is organized into two main research projects:

STA 2 is focused on the development of materials with very large χ3 properties that can
be used for all-optical switching and free-space signal processing.

Thrust 2 Research Projects

Project 3.1
Organic and Metal Oxide Field-Effect Transistors for Flexible Electronics
Lead: Denise Wilson

This project is focused on developing organic semiconductors with thin-film hole and electron mobilities >10 cm2/Vs, (i.e., greater than that of amorphous silicon). CMDITR will develop surface-modifying agents that will help with this issue, as well as improved adhesion at organic/organic and inorganic/organic interfaces. CMDITR will also develop new dielectric materials that can be coated into thin (< 200 nm) films with high dielectric strength (> 2 MV/cm), low leakage current (< 1 μA/cm2), and high capacitance density (> 50 nF/cm2).

Project 4.1
Organic Solar Cells and Integrated Modules
Lead: Neal Armstrong

The goal of our research on organic solar cells is to advance the understanding of the physics that governs their operation and to develop models that can be used to guide the optimization of their performance. Our objective will be to increase the efficiency of devices based on bulk heterojunctions and multilayer geometries (> 10% on glass substrates and > 7% on light-weight flexible substrates) by the synthesis of new molecules and polymers with optimized properties. Other important aspects of our activities include the development of new transparent conducting layers intended as replacements for ITO.

Project 4.2
Packaging and Processing for Printed Electronics
Lead: Bernard Kippelen

A critical objective of this project will be to develop thin film encapsulation layers with permeation rates at or below 10-5 g/m2/day and to integrate them with organic photovoltaic cells, OLEDs, and organic circuits.  Additional efforts to reduce the number of layers and processing steps needed for the encapsulation will be performed with the goal of a single or bilayer encapsulation film.