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A two-day symposium titled Organic and Polymer Electronics held at Institute of Materials Research and Engineering (IMRE) during 9-10 December 2010 attracted about 80 participants from academic and industry. 24 speakers, from research institutes and industries in USA, Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and others, presented their R&D efforts and application highlights. Topics covered areas of new materials synthesis, theoretical studies, organic device fabrication processes and characterization as well as industry trends and market potentials.

Key Words: IMRE, organic, polymer, electronics, organic photovoltaics (OPVs)

January 13th, 2011

IMRE Organic and Polymer Electronics Symposium

Organic electronics has been attracting interests of researchers and industry players for its advantages of offering inexpensive, flexible and large area electronic devices with more environmental friendly manufacturing processes. Thanks to the worldwide strong R&D investment and activities in the field of materials design & synthesis, fabrication processes and circuit design, electronics based on organic semiconductors, including organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs), organic photovoltaics (OPVs), organic field effect transistors (OFETs), sensors, memories, and others, have advanced significantly.

During 9-10 December 2010, IMRE organized a two-day symposium to celebrate the growth and development of organic electronics research at IMRE, including the Visiting Investigatorship Program led by Prof. Ananth Dodabalapur from the University of Texas at Austin, US. More than 80 participants from academia and industries attended this workshop.

Most of the presentations in this symposium are related to the exploration of new materials for organic electronics applications. For example, Prof. Tobin Marks, from Northwestern University (USA), showcased their results, which covered a wide range from printable materials design, modeling and preparation to molecularly engineered high-k dielectric fabrication and application. Dr. Prashant Sonar, from IMRE, explained in detail their design and synthesis of the novel push-pull based low bandgap polymers/molecules comprised of diketopyrrolopyrrole and other interesting donor/acceptor moieties in conjugated backbone. To address the issue of spectral mismatch between solar light spectrum and sensitizing material absorption, which is one of the major challenges in organic material application in OPVs, Prof. Wai Kin Chan's group (the Univerisity of Hong Kong) has been devoting their efforts to the design and synthesis of low bandgap transition metal complexes and metal containing polymers, such as rhenium complex containing polymers by Pd-catalyzed coupling polymerization. Other polymers including calixarenes and poly(thienothiophene-alt-bithiophene) were also discussed in terms of material properties. As for the main challenges in this area, Prof. Beng Ong, from IMRE, stressed several aspects including materials' ambient stability, mobility and performance reproducibility. Device fabrication process-related studies seem to be another attractive subject. Prof. Changhee Lee, from Seoul National University, reported the impact of different substrates and process parameters on the performance of organic rectifier. Prof. Denis Fichou, from CEA-Saclay, Organic Nanostructures & Semiconductors Lab, IRAMIS/SPCSI (France), suggested the application of dithiapyrannylidene derivatives to act as the interfacial layer, thus reducing the device interfacial resistance. As a result, their OPVs presented an enhanced current density by 20%. Also, Prof. Yutai Tao, from Institute of Chemistry, Academia Sinica (Taiwan), proposed the usage of nanostructured polydiacetylenes as the interfacial layer, which served as the trapping sites for charge carriers, in their transistors/memories.

In addition to these technical progresses, industry representatives also introduced their research focuses. For example, Atonometrics Inc. is specializing in test and measurement equipment for the photovoltaic industry. Merck is concentrating on the development of materials for organic electronic applications. The Australian national research laboratories CSIRO started a systematic R&D work in this field since 2004. They have built excellent capability, including people, skills, facilities, and partnerships in organic electronics R&D.

In short, this symposium has provided a platform for the participants to update and share ideas on the progress in the field of organic electronics, although it lacks commercialization breakthrough at this event.

Opening speech delivered by Prof. Charles Zukoski from Science and Engineering Research Council (SERC), A*STAR.

Prof. Tobin Marks from Northwestern University (USA) presented the keynote lecture regarding the new material and processes for organic and inorganic/organic electronic circuitry.

Dr. Gerry Wilson, head and theme leader of CSIRO Materials Science and Engineering (Australia), introduced their current research status on organic electronics.

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