Dr. Bryan Boudouris
Functional homopolymers and block copolymers have attracted increasing attention as applications for these materials have begun to emerge in fields ranging from bioengineering to advanced energy systems. In particular, optoelectronically active polymers have emerged as their own class of materials in recent years due to their promise of offering inexpensive, flexible, and lightweight alternatives to applications previously dominated by inorganic materials. Importantly, semiconducting polymers have optical and electronic properties that may be tuned by using well-designed chemical synthesis to control precisely the chemical constituents, the distribution of functionality along the polymer backbone, the molecular weight, and the molecular weight distributions of the macromolecules.
In the Polymers for Optoelectronic and Widespread Energy Research (POWER) Laboratory, we examine how control of macromolecular design affects the all-important nanoscale structure of these materials. In turn, this provides a handle by which to improve the performance of a variety of thin film, flexible organic electronic devices. Currently, we are examining six specific research thrusts that will utilize the advantages of functional homopolymers and block copolymers for the fabrication of next generation organic electronic and biomedical devices for enhanced energy, health, and homeland security applications:
1. The design and utilization of functional radical polymers for enhanced carrier extraction at the metal/organic interfaces of OPV devices.
2. The design of novel polymers, polymer-based nanoparticles, and inorganic nanoparticles for thermoelectric devices and catalytic applications.
3. The fabrication of well-ordered, nanostructured organic non-volatile memory elements from block copolymer templates.
4. The synthesis and microstructural characterization of functional triblock terpolymers for enhanced biopharmaceutical separations.
5. The synthesis and microstructural characterization of mechanically-robust polymers from biorenewable feedstocks.
6. The fabrication of nanostructured conducting polymers for advanced threat detection and homeland security applications.
Because we have the ability to change material properties by altering the molecular architecture, an iterative approach to system engineering will be used. This will allow for the direct correlation of structure-property relationships in six polymer-based projects which, in turn, will drive molecular design for the development of devices with high performance.
- B.S., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2004
- Ph.D., University of Minnesota, 2009
- Postdoctoral Fellow, University of California, Berkeley, 2011
- NAE Frontiers of Engineering Invited Participant, 2013
- AFOSR Young Investigator Program Awardee, 2012
- DARPA Young Faculty Award, 2012
- Ralph W. and Grace M. Showalter Research Trust Award, 2012