Feodor-Lynnen-Humboldt post-doctoral Research Scholarship.
Design of conducting polymers for solid-state applications. The general area of my research involves studies of materials for solid-state electrochemical measurements. It is expected that this materials contain distributed redox centers and host mobile counterions that are capable of providing charge balance during electron transfers. Potential applications of solid-state materials are related to the principles and analytical aspects of electro-chemical measurements such as charge storage in batteries and redox supercapacitors, electrochromism, electrosynthesis, molecular electronics, characterization of mixed-valence ionically conducting materials or charge-transfer interactions in solid-state potentiometric sensors for gases. The idea to design conducting polymers in a controlled manner is challenging. It is important to be able to configure molecules in such a way that they could control interactions of interest, and be manipulated through hydrogen bonding, electron donor/acceptor interactions or short-range molecular recognition. The following approaches have been investigated so far: doping with weak acid or with photochemically generated acid, controlled self-organization of the polymer using e.g. Uv-irradiation, controlled formation of metal-cluster in the conducting polymer.
Characterization of conducting polymers and their composites. Characterizations of conducting polymers in scope of their doping with protons, anions or metal clusters can be conducted with the help of electrochemical and, spectroscopic techniques such as uv-vis, FTIR, ATR-FTIR, by photoacoustic spectroscopy or XPS, work function measurements with Kelvin Probe or with field effect transistor having as a gate the conducting polymer material. Electron transmission microscope, differential scanning calorimetry and X-ray diffraction techniques are also used. The goal is to learn about the origin of the physicochemical-changes in the polymer matrix by the guest molecules. The correlation between the changes in the polymer with the changes in its material properties allow us to study the parameters that govern the primary doping and later determine the interaction between the host matrix and the guest molecules.
Preparation and properties of composite gel materials. Gel materials prepared using two components; electronically and ionically conducting polymer such as polyaniline and room temperature ionic liquid (RTIL), are of great interest to chemical sensors. They can enhance the response time of a sensor due to faster diffusion of inert analytes into the bulk of the composite. Furthermore, due to the lmited evaporation of the RTIL they can also improve the stability of the composite.
Testing and calibration of materials towards their responses to gaseous analytes. The testing of the developed layers for gas sensor applications is conducted using gas mixing system that allows dilutions from 1:10 to 1:1000. The testing is conducted on layers deposited on Kelvin Probes specimens or on sensor array based on eight field effect transistors.