Lu-Diaz Awarded Donald Kuhn Graduate Fellowship

Michael Lu-Diaz

Michael Lu-Diaz (DV group) Awarded the Donald Kuhn Graduate Fellowship for outstanding reseaarch, and an interest in pursuing a career in research or teaching.

Research Summary: Chemically doped conjugated polymers comprise a myriad of applications among organic electronics. The chemical doping process consists of introducing a molecule to partially oxidize or reduce a polymer's backbone and create a charge. Although this charge is presumed to be mobile, it experiences a strong, attractive Coulomb interaction with a dopant, ultimately affecting charge transport. I am studying methods to screen this Coulomb interaction and help this charge move. Our experiments and models indicate that the dielectric permittivity is a tunable and crucial parameter to reduce polymer-dopant Coulomb interactions. We used a charge hopping model and fabricated polymer composites with nanocrystals with tunable dielectric permittivity. Ongoing studies focus on understanding how different physical properties of a polymer impact polymer-dopant Coulomb interactions to create more efficient materials.