Research in electronic and optical materials emphasizes the development of advanced experimental methodologies and theoretical approaches to design, control, interrogate, and model the physics and chemistry of materials which harvest, convert, and store energy over multiple length scales. Focus areas include synthesis, processing, and engineering of hybrid composites, thin films and devices which incorporate molecules, polymers, and nanostructures with electro-optical, photocatalytic, and thermoelectric activity.
Current projects include synthesis of metallic, semiconducting, and oxide nanostructures for photo- and electro-catalytic energy conversion (McFarland, Gordon, Chmelka); self-assembly of mesostructured inorganic frameworks incorporating conjugated polymers (Chmelka); nanoscale interrogation of optical, interfacial, and chemical effects in organic semiconductors and conjugated polymers for photovoltaics (Segalman, Gordon), and plasmonics (Gordon).
The Doherty group is interested in all aspects of manipulating and controlling the properties of crystals, including nucleation, growth, dissolution, polymorph transitions, solvent effects, and the influence of impurities and additives on crystal shape. Applications include inorganic materials for battery, photovoltaic and catalysis applications.