Organic semiconductors are derived from π-conjugated molecules or polymers, whose chemical composition and structure are only limited by the imagination of the synthetic chemist – or, perhaps in the future, are determined through machine-learned paradigms. The structure of organic semiconductors are also determined by their processing environment. Currently, how molecular design and processing are interwoven to result in semiconducting materials with optimal performance remains a mixture of art and science. Here we will discuss the development of atomistic-scale models that bring together molecular topology and processing conditions to provide first-principles insight into the physicochemical connections that are required to be controlled.
Chad Risko is an Assistant Professor of Chemistry in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Kentucky. Chad received his PhD at the Georgia Institute of Technology under the direction of Professor Jean-Luc Brédas, undertook postdoctoral research with Professors Mark Ratner and Tobin Marks at Northwestern University, and has been at the University of Kentucky since 2014. Chad’s research blends principles from organic and physical chemistry, condensed-matter physics, and materials science to develop theoretical materials chemistry approaches to better understand and design materials for advanced electronics and power generation and storage applications. Chad was named a 2016 Emerging Investigator by the Journal of Materials Chemistry (Royal Society of Chemistry), received a 2018 Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award, was selected as a 2018 Cottrell Scholar (Research Corporation for Science Advancement, RCSA), and is an RCSA Scialog Fellow for Advanced Energy Storage.