Nano@Tech : Cool Photonic and Electronic Plastics for a Greener World

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Natalie Stingelin
School of Materials Science & Engineering and School of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology


Abstract: With seabirds trapped in multipack drink rings, and mid-ocean islands of indestructible rubbish, the idea that plastics could play a big part in a sustainable future world might seem far-fetched. However, new smart photonic and electronic plastics may yet rescue the reputation of this all-consuming 20th century material. Research into such functional plastics for cars and buildings could drastically reduce the need for air conditioning and, thus, improve their energy efficiency. We will present recent efforts to design new plastics of desired photonic and electronic functions targeted for a greener world. One line of our enquiry is to explore the potential of new polymer-based systems that can offer the same flexibility, softness and light weight as commodity plastics but can control the flow of light therefore assisting energy (light) harvesting, e.g., of photovoltaic devices, or light out-coupling from light-emitting diodes. Other opportunities for such systems include photonic heat mirrors that can prevent undesired heat built up of solar cells limiting performance degradation during operation of the cells. Such mirrors also can be exploited to reduce the energy we waste to keep buildings at the temperature we want.

Bio: Natalie Stingelin (Stutzmann) FRSC is Professor of Functional Organic Materials at the Georgia Institute of Technology, with prior positions at Imperial College London, London, UK; the Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK; Queen Mary University of London, London, UK; the Philips Research Laboratories, Eindhoven, The Netherlands; and ETH Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland. She was awarded a ‘Chaire Internationale Associée’ by the Excellence Initiative of the Université de Bordeaux (2016), the Institute of Materials, Minerals & Mining's Rosenhain Medal and Prize (2014) and the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) President's International Fellowship Initiative (PIFI) Award for Visiting Scientists (2015). She was the Chair of the 2016 Gordon Conference on “Electronic Processes in Organic Materials” as well as the Zing conference on “Organic Semiconductors.” She has published >160 papers and has 6 issued patents. Her research interests encompass organic electronics & photonics, bioelectronics, physical chemistry of organic functional materials, and smart inorganic/organic hybrid systems


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