‘Bleeding Edge’ Polymer Semiconductor Research Receives Acclaims

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The University of Rochester seeks alliance partners to license patented polymer-based electroluminescent devices

A team of material scientists, led by Professor Samson A. Jenekhe formerly of the University of Rochester’s Department of Chemical Engineering, have developed a family of plastic electroluminescent devices. This family of technologies has potential applications in more efficient light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and solar cells, video displays, as well as other electronic devices, and is the subject of U.S. Patent 6,605,904.

Jenekhe’s research was recently recognized by Thomson research company in its “Fast Moving Fronts,” which identifies trends and growth areas within materials sciences and other disciplines. His research is focused on one of the major challenge of developing plastic, or polymer-based, semiconductors – to make efficient, high-performance semiconductors for use in applications where traditional polymer semiconductors fall short. These high-performance semiconductors are called multicomponent organic semiconductors.

The challenge lies in that traditional electroluminescent polymer semiconductors do not have the ability to accept and transport both “electrons” and “holes” – which limits the uses of the semiconductors. Typically, electroluminescent polymer semiconductors fall into two categories – “P-type” and “N-type.” Semiconductor material with extra electrons is called N-type material because it has extra negatively charged particles, whereas semiconductor material with extra holes is called P-type material because it has extra positively charged particles.

Professor Jenekhe’s research and often-cited papers provide insights on how to combine N-type and P-type polymers to form superior semiconductors that can be used in applications not possible with traditional materials. This research could pave the way for the next generation of devices like flat panel computer monitors, televisions, fluorescent lighting, traffic lights, and other electronic products.         

Professor Jenekhe is currently a professor at University of Washington’s Department of Chemical Engineering.    

About CTC Upstate New York

The Center for Technology Commercialization (CTC) is based in Westborough, MA, and serves as NASA’s Northeast Regional Technology Transfer Center (RTTC), covering the six New England States plus New York and New Jersey. CTC is a non-profit company with seven satellite offices, which act as a gateway for the transfer of NASA and other federal technology to private industry.

Alexander E. Martens is the Executive Director of the Upstate New York location of the CTC. Martens has extensive expertise in the areas of photonics, optics, instrumentation, and R&D management. He works closely with universities, federal laboratories, state government agencies and New York technology development organizations.

About the Office of Technology Transfer

The University of Rochester's Office of Technology Transfer on its River Campus is responsible for the management of the intellectual property resources of the non-medical center colleges, schools, departments, centers and laboratories of the University of Rochester. Its goal is to pursue innovative strategies to help translate scientific progress into tangible products, while returning income to the inventor and the University to support further research and education. OTT facilitates the licensing of technology to companies, encourages new faculty startup ventures, works with publishers and distributors of software, and supports the transfer of research materials to other universities, research institutes and companies. For more information about the Office of Technology Transfer, visit http://www.rochester.edu/ott/.

For further information regarding technology transfer opportunities with the University of Rochester, please contact Mark Coburn, Associate Provost and Director, Office of Technology Transfer, at (585) 275-5370 or email Mark at response@ott.rochester.edu.

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Alexander E. Martens, Executive Director
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