I am interested in various aspects of molecular self-assembly. Our major area of study is in the realm of organic solar cells: we are using various approaches to control the morphology that develops in the polymer blend layer (which is responsible for the absorption of light) in bulk heterojunction solar cells. Some approaches involve generating surface patterns (via microcontact printing, edge-spreading lithography…), while others involve derivatization of the parent polymers in order to promote self-assembly of the components of the polymer blend film into structures that will give rise to more efficient solar cells. We are currently exploring the use of fluorocarbon-hydrocarbon interactions as a means of influencing the morphology that develops in the active layer. Another area of interest in our lab involves the design of new liquid crystalline materials, in which small discrete molecules form one-dimensionally aligned structures (which might find application as one-dimensional conductors for instance) due to various intermolecular interactions, such as hydrogen bonding or donor-acceptor interactions. Students in my lab do a combination of synthetic work, physical characterization of compounds prepared, and evaluation of those new materials in the context of actual working devices (solar cells).