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  • Professor Christine Luscombe
    11/13/18 - 9:45 AM to 10:45 AM

    Dow Lecture Series: Professor Christine Luscombe

    Dow Lecture Series

Precise engineering of semiconducting polymers for organic electronics

π-Conjugated polymers are being used in the fabrication of a wide variety of organic electronic devices such as organic field-effect transistors (OFETs), organic photovoltaic (OPV) devices, and organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs). Since the seminal work on the conductivity of polyacetylene by Heeger, MacDiarmid, and Shirakawa was published in 1970s, the field of organic electronics has grown exponentially. Our group has been studying and developing techniques to grow semiconducting polymers using a living polymerization method. This has allowed us to synthesize polymer architectures that we haven’t been able to access till now including polythiophene brushes, star-shaped P3HT, as well as hyperbranched P3HT. It also allows us to accurately control the molecular weights of P3HT and produce materials with a narrow molecular weight distribution. Our unique synthetic capabilities allows us to specifically control defects in these polymers. Our work in controlling polymer defects and their effect on microstructure and thus optoelectronic properties will be presented.

More recently, we have begun to study the mechanical properties of semiconducting polymers. As the polymers’ practical applications have extended into the health and life sciences areas (e.g., electronic skins and artificial muscles), the mechanical compliance (i.e., low stiffness and high ductility) has become increasingly important. This in turn requires one to establish an understanding of the relationship between polymer structure and their mechanical properties as well as their (opto)electronic properties. In this presentation, the synthesis of a series of indacenodithiophene-based semiconducting polymers will be discussed along with the feasibility of using these polymers in stretchable devices.   

Coffee Hour

9 a.m. to 10 a.m.
Wednesday, Nov. 14
193 Kolthoff Hall
“Diverse Cultures in STEM: How various backgrounds and upbringings impact our science”
Hosts: Women in Science & Engineering


Professor Luscombe's research involves the design and synthesis of functional molecules, which range from well-defined macromolecules to polymers. Researchers in her group are interested in the ability of the materials to self-assemble and to be used in a variety of applications, including organic thin film transistors, organic photovoltaic devices, and chemical and biological sensors. Current projects are focusing on organic photovoltaics, living polymerizations, direct arylation, ionically and electrically conducting polymers, and stretchable electronics.

Professor Luscombe

After receiving her bachelor’s degree in natural sciences from the University of Cambridge in 2000, Professor Luscombe worked with professors Andrew Holmes and Wilhelm Huck in the Melville Laboratory of Polymer Synthesis at the University of Cambridge. Her doctorate research focused on surface modifications using supercritical carbon dioxide. She received the Syngenta Award for best organic chemistry project for her doctorate. In January 2004, she joined the group of Professor Jean Fréchet for her post-doctoral studies where she began her research on semiconducting polymers for organic photovoltaics. She was the recipient of the Lindemann Fellowship as well as the Trinity College Junior Research Fellowship (University of Cambridge) for her post-doctoral studies. In September 2006, she joined the Materials Science and Engineering Department at the University of Washington, Seattle. She received a number of young faculty awards including the NSF CAREER Award, DARPA Young Faculty Award as well as the Sloan Research Fellowship. She served on the Editorial Advisory Board for Macromolecules and ACS Macro Letters, and is currently serving on the Editorial Advisory Boards for Polymer International, Advanced Electronic Materials, and Journal of Applied Physics. She is an associate editor for the Journal of Materials Chemistry A, is serving on the Inational Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) Polymer Education and Polymer Terminology Subcommittees, and is the vice president of the IUPAC Polymer Division.

  • Event Details

    Location: 331 Smith Hall
    Host: Professor Marc Hillmyer
    • Professor Christine Luscombe
    • Christine Luscombe
    • Department of Materials Science & Engineering
    • University of Washington
    • Seattle