Modern society relies on electronics and optoelectronic devices (e.g. transistors, light emitting diodes, lasers, solar cells, and detectors). Semiconductor materials are the basis of these devices. Currently, the state-of-the-art devices are dominated by conventional inorganic materials, which are expensive to produce and hard to be incorporated into the next-generation flexible/wearable and bio-compatible devices. While organic materials are advantageous in terms of costs and mechanical flexibility, their electronic properties are usually not as good as inorganic materials. Organic-inorganic hybrid materials provide a promising solution, if the best of the two worlds can be combined.
The design of new hybrid materials for the next generation of optoelectronic and sensing devices and the elucidation of their fundamental structure-property-performance relationships are the key focus of the Dou research group. Specifically, we aim to tailor the properties of these materials at the nano scale and molecular level in order to deliver new fundamental insights regarding the semiconducting organic-inorganic interface. In turn, this will allow for improved performance of solar energy harvesting and solid-state lighting, and chemical/biological sensing devices. Our research is highly interdisciplinary as it bridges chemistry, chemical engineering, and materials science such that new research paradigms that cut across traditional science and engineering disciplines can be established.
Currently, we are using halide perovskites and organic conjugated polymer/molecules as the model system to develop new hybrid materials with unique functionality; we are also investigating the assembly behavior and transport phenomenon at the interfaces, and applying them into electronic and optoelectronic devices to improve the efficiency and reliability.