Wearing his heart(beat) on his sleeve

Wearing his heart(beat) on his sleeve


I think creativity is important in
research. l being able to think of an idea or think of a possible molecule or potential group that you want to attach to a molecule either you’re
following what someone else has done or you come up maybe with your own ideas and so being able to be creative I think is a very big asset to being a
researcher and maybe a chemist. Our research program focuses on the
development of new materials like organic semiconductors and their
implementation into prototype devices organic electronics are electronic
devices that are based off of semiconductors where those
semiconductors are carbon-based and not silicon based, which is your
traditional electronic device. So you could have something like a photovoltaic
or a solar cell where the semiconductor is plastic and that will absorb the
light and convert it to electricity. When you have a disaster relief, for
example, you could have tents that have solar panels on them where the canvas is actually a photovoltaic, woven into the canvas. These semiconductors can be made
as an ink. And so in this case it was printed on a piece of plastic. and so the advantage to this is that you can print them using conventional printing processes Canada has been in into pulp and paper, into printing industries for quite some time. The idea now is that as printed media changes, we’re trying to put intelligence on to these flexible substrates. So, you can imagine one day that you will be able to print your TV on a flexible substrate
and roll it up and bring it under your arm and then display it to some
individuals. I think there are different strategies to designing materials. Pigments and dyes, things that have bright colors can often be used as semiconductors as well. If we have these molecules, we want charge to jump from one molecule to the other and so what we’re looking for is molecules that’ll stack very closely So that those charges can jump. So we might just do some
fine-tuning on a well-known dye pigment which will convert it into a semiconductor which actually has good properties in a device. Organic electronics can be fabricated several different ways. This one would be fabricated through vapor deposition. So you heat the molecule, it sublimes and then it condenses and you can make thin films. So there’s no light bulb where the
light bulb is the semiconductor. It’s a piece of plastic or a piece of
carbon-based material. And so now we can actually take those molecules that we design in the lab, and that we synthesize, then we can sublime them and make
devices with controlled, thin layers. Being a research intensive university the University of Ottawa really depends a lot on its interactions with industry. So with Dr. Lessard’s work, there’s these essential industrial partners that are
working along with us in moving his work forward. If we’re developing these types
of inventions here on our campus and working with Canadian industry, as much as possible, the hope is that this will be commercialized in Canada and that will lead to lots of jobs and all sorts of other offshooting
benefits for the economy. I see the future of this technology really
integrating into our day to day life. I would imagine we’ll have buildings covered in photovoltaics so as to reduce the light but also to increase the power. The medical field is a big one too. If you can have sensors that are printed or flexible and built into your clothing, They can detect things like your pH or your salt levels And if you can take it a step further and start detecting, maybe, some of these
these markers for certain diseases then you could have your clothes
tell you when it’s time to see a doctor.

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