Department Seminar - Simon Rondeau-Gagné, Thursday, November 24, 2022, 1:30-2:30


Title: Materials Design Strategies for Greener and Softer Semiconducting Polymers

Date: Thursday, November 24, 2022

Time: 1:30-2:30

Room: ABB 165

Zoom: Please contact for Zoom details.

Host: Daniel Hrabowyj

Abstract: To further develop current electronics for the Internet of Things, in which smart and conformable devices and sensors embedded ubiquitously collect and exchange data, electronic devices need to be high-performance, but also mechanically robust and stable to many different environments. Moreover, the materials used for their production need to be low-cost and easily processable at large scale. Over the last 25 years, important efforts have been devoted to push the boundaries between chemical engineering and chemistry towards new materials that will possess these qualities. Among the materials developed, π-conjugated semiconducting polymers possess particularly outstanding properties as these materials have good charge transport properties, tunable mechanical properties, and high biocompatibility/low toxicity. However, despite having unique merits for the fabrication of emerging electronics, current semiconducting polymers lack important features for their application at large scale. These include high Young’s moduli and limited mechanical properties, poor solubility in polar solvents, and suboptimal resistance to complex patterning techniques


Stimulated by this important challenge, the Rondeau-Gagné group focuses its work on the design and synthesis of greener and more robust electroactive materials and takes advantage of these materials for the fabrication of soft organic electronics with emerging properties. By using different design strategies based on molecular engineering, we found that incorporating moieties capable of generating dynamic bonds in the polymer side chains can disrupt chain packing in the solid-state, resulting in materials that are more amorphous (softer). Our team also discovered new design strategies to move away from chlorinated toxic solvent sin the fabrication of organic electronics.


This presentation will cover our recent efforts to rationally design soft stretchable functional polymers. A new design strategy to access greener semiconducting polymers will also be discussed. Throughout this presentation, results from a detailed multimodal characterization of the solid-state morphology of the new materials in thin films will be introduced, as well as the new structure-property relationships unveiled during our investigation. Application of the new materials as active materials in organic field-effect transistors (OFETs) and flexible sensors will also be discussed. 

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McMaster University - Faculty of Science | Chemistry & Chemical Biology