Our group works in the areas of Organic Electronics, Plasmon-enhanced Spectroscopy and Biomolecular Sensing. The vision behind our studies of Organic Electronics is to understand easily processed organic materials for inexpensive applications as the active element in light-emitting diodes, thin film transistors and photovoltaic devices. We study the science of light emission, charge photogeneration and charge transport that underpins future applications of polymers in flexible displays, electronic paper and organic solar cells. The techniques we use span the range from transient spectroscopy of excited state relaxation to charge modulation spectroscopy in devices. We work with novel materials such as self-organizing chiral conjugated oligomers, dendritic side group polymers and water-soluble emissive polymers. Our current collaborators in the Organic Electronics area are Man Kit Ng, Esther Conwell and Al Marchetti (Chemistry), Shaw Chen and Ching Tang (Chemical Engineering), Mary Galvin (University of Delaware), Michael Rubner and Tim Swager (MIT), Ralph Young (Eastman Kodak) and Darryl Smith (Los Alamos). Recent accomplishments include single chromophore studies of conjugated polymers, mechanistic work on the salvation of thiophene-containing dendrimers and plasmonic enhancement of organic photovoltaics.
In the biomolecular sensor area, we aim to develop new optical detection approaches based on interactions with nanoparticles, reflectivity, Raman spectroscopy and radiative engineering of fluorescent decay rates. Coupled to our sensing effort, we are studying the basic science of single molecule Raman and fluorescence spectroscopy. Our collaborators in this area are Ben Miller (Dermatology), Todd Krauss and Doug Turner (Chemistry), Hong Yang (Chemical Engineering) and Howard Federoff (Center for Aging). Recent accomplishments include the invention of rapid sequence screening technology based on electrostatic interactions between gold nanoparticles and DNA as well as development of reflective interferometry, a label-free microarray reading technology with high sensitivity.