SUSU International Laboratory: Research for the Electronics of the Future

Molecular Electronics International Laboratory was created at SUSU within Project 5-100. The goal of the laboratory is the studying and creation of components and devices based on mesophase materials with high spatial symmetry. This laboratory allows to initiate research in the field of creating environment-friendly flexible solar batteries and molecular components of electronic devices. Head of the laboratory, Candidate of Sciences (Physics and Mathematics), Associate Professor Fedor Podgornov shared on the importance of molecular electronics and the conducted research.

– Why are the studies in the field of molecular electronics relevant across the world?

– The transition to Industry 4.0 in manufacturing requires the engineering of new electronic components. Modern electronics is based on using micro- and nanostructured semiconducting materials. Unfortunately, the limit for using such materials is close exhaustion. In this context, there arises an issue on the alternative ways of development of the element base of electronics and of the miniaturization of these devices. Among the most promising fields of development is the using of the molecules of organic and inorganic substances, which will act as the well-known base components (diodes, transistors, induction coils, etc.) of electronics. This approach allows to create ultra-miniature high-performance microchips, which could even be integrated into human body. 

– What kind of projects are being worked on at the SUSU Molecular Electronics Laboratory?

– The main goal of the laboratory is to study organic materials with high symmetry in order to create the element base of the electronics of the future, as well as to develop new methods of electrical characterization of materials and element base of electronics. The scientists of the Molecular Electronics Laboratory are conducting research in the field of using mesophase materials, optoelectronics (displays, time-space light modulators), electrokinetic movement of macro- and nanoparticles in liquid crystals, solar batteries, electrical methods of analysing organic materials. State-of-the-art equipment allows to solve such complicated tasks.

– Which results have been achieved as of today?

– Over 2017–2018, researchers of the laboratory determined the mechanism of influence of metallic nanoparticles on electric and optic properties of highly-ordered chiral materials; explained the mechanism of reduction of time for the electro-optic switching in liquid-crystal display cells doped with nanoparticles; and proposed a capacitive principle for measurement of ion electric conductivity of materials in cells with blocking electrodes. These results have been described in articles published in such leading international journals as Applied Physics Letters, Journal of Molecular Liquids, and Liquid Crystals. Also, the scientists are planning to get a project on research of non-linear dielectric properties of highly-ordered organic materials.

Photo: Chiral object

– Who works at the laboratory?

We are closely collaborating with the leading scientists from Darmstadt University of Technology, Germany. In addition, our new personnel includes young and talented scientists, who are already very experienced in conducting research in this field. We are planning on expanding the cross-disciplinary cooperation with SUSU groups, other universities and companies.

– On June 1st, the results of work by the international research laboratories were presented to the International Scientific Council. What recommendations were given by the SUSU ISC members to your laboratory on its development?

– Member of the SUSU International Scientific Council, Professor of Korea Institute for Advanced Study, Doctor Jaewan Kim expressed sincere interest in presentation by our laboratory and offered the group of researchers of the Molecular Electronics Laboratory to visit the Korea Institute for Advanced Study in order to discuss possible research collaborations.

Olga Romanovskaia, photo by Viktoria Matveichuk
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