Research areas description
Imagine unrolling a solar panel onto your roof on a sunny day or folding away your phone to a size smaller than a credit card before sticking it into your wallet. These are a few examples of the exciting functionality possible with devices made out of molecular materials. Electronics, displays and solar cells have traditionally been made out of rigid, perfectly crystalline layers of materials called semiconductors. Prof. Kéna-Cohen is working to develop devices that replace traditional semiconductors with soft organic molecules as their main functional component. Instead of requiring perfect and costly fabrication, these devices can be sprayed onto plastic sheets, windows or even combined with traditional semiconductors to achieve new functionality.
Organic molecules have already found their way into mobile phone displays and high-end televisions because of their efficient and versatile light-emitting properties. Prof. Kéna-Cohen’s group is working on emerging technologies that will use these materials such as hybrid solar cells, light sources for bioimaging and organic lasers.
When mixed with light, molecular materials also offer fascinating insight into the quantum world. Prof. Kéna-Cohen has pioneered their use to create quantum states of matter such as Bose-Einstein condensates and superfluids. These exotic states are typical of ultralow temperatures, but with molecules they can be realized at room temperature on a simple table top. This allows his group to answer fundamental questions about quantum phase transitions and perform quantum simulations using experiments of a simplicity unimaginable with cold atoms.
- Stéphane Kéna-Cohen | Chairholder
External sources of funding
NSERC, Fonds de recherche sur la nature et les technologies (Québec), Canada Foundation for Innovation, Canada Research Chairs