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Development and characterisation of new semi-conducting polymers soluble in environmental-friendly solvents for self-assembled nanostructures and application in advanced electronic devices


Recent developments of chemical and biological sensors require semi-conducting (conjugated) polymers preferably processible from environmental-friendly solvents like alcohols and with an affinity towards the physiological medium of the analyte (water). The objective of the project is to develop at IMEC, through transfer of knowledge, competences and know-how in the synthesis of ionic conjugated polymers (ICPs): amphiphilic and polyelectrolytes. ICPs feature ionic or polar side groups, which render the mater ials soluble in water and/or alcohols, and possess an intrinsic tendency to organize into supramolecular architectures in solution and in solid state, which make them promising candidates as a platform for the development of chemo- and biosensors. The new semi-conducting polymers will be designed in order to achieve a control of the nanoscale morphology and will be based on poly(p-phenylene vinylene) derivatives (PPVs) substituted with ionic or polar side chains.They will be synthesised using the "precursor sulphinyl route" developed at IMEC for the synthesis of "classical" PPVs. Monomer synthesis and polymerisation methods will be developed and optimised for environmental-friendly solvents. These new materials will be evaluated in various device structures as Light Emitting Devices (PLED), organic transistors, organic photovoltaics and in chemical and biological sensors. This will result in a thorough characterisation of the electrical properties of the ICPs under study. To reach that goal two types of exper tises will be required over two years: 36 person-months of organic and polymer chemists preferably with a background in conjugated polyelectrolytes and/or amphiphilic polymers, and 18 person-months of an electronic engineer or material physicist with aback ground in organic semi-conductors. In Europe the efforts put in this new field are promising but still significant lower compared to what is done in the United States and Japan.

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