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Research Overview

Molecular Modeling and Design of Hybrids

We address fundamental questions related to the mechanical and fracture properties of molecular hybrid materials that have applications in emerging aerospace and microelectronic technologies.

High Performance Adhesion

We develop strong adhesion at organic/metal interfaces, which is of paramount importance to the performance and reliability of emerging 3D device technologies.

Functional and Transparent Coatings

We use an atmospheric pressure plasma discharge to fragment and subsequently polymerize small molecules into highly transparent and functional thin films. We constantly develop new processes for the growth of a wide range of materials, including silica, metal oxides, nitrides, and polymer coatings, onto both organic and inorganic substrates.

Materials in Plastic Electronics and Photovoltaics

Our focus is to study the thermomechanical reliability of materials ranging from organic bulk heterojunction photovoltaics to conducting films in organic electronics.

Perovskite Solar Cells

The impressive carrier lifetimes and diffusion lengths of perovskites, coupled with their optoelectronic resilience to defects, and amenability to remarkably simple solution-processing set them apart from other active PV layers in the solar field. These properties present a special opportunity for rethinking solar cell architectures allowing for innovations that will result in efficient low-cost cells with improved service lifetimes, essentially solving the mechanical and thermal instability in current monolithic layer perovskite architectures.

Solar Reliability

Our ‘solar reliability’ area focuses primarily on studying the thermomechanical reliability of photovoltaic module components, from frontside optics to encapsulation and backsheet structures.

Biological Tissues and Treatments

Using methods ranging from thin-film analysis techniques adapted for biological tissues to spectroscopic assays, we characterize the effects of environmental exposures and topical treatments on human skin.  These studies yield fundamental insight into the mechanisms and biomechanical behavior of the human body's key protective barrier.

Membranes for Energy Storage

Mechanical reliability of polymer membranes is important for a range of energy applications. Our research investigates relevant thin-film mechanical properties such as tearing energy, adhesion and cohesion energy, stiffness and hardness. In particular, we are interested in studying the thermomechanical effect caused by the operation condition and the role of mechanical constraint imposed by the device hardware on the mechanical properties.