Navigation path

Themes
Agriculture & food
Energy
Environment
ERA-NET
Health & life sciences
Human resources & mobility
Industrial research
Information society
  E-Commerce
  Information technology
  Internet
  Microelectronics and nanotechnology
  Multimedia
  Telecommunications
  Other
Innovation
International cooperation
Nanotechnology
Pure sciences
Research infrastructures
Research policy
Science & business
Science in society
Security
SMEs
Social sciences and humanities
Space
Special Collections
Transport

Countries
Countries
  Argentina
  Australia
  Austria
  Belgium
  Brazil
  Bulgaria
  Canada
  Chile
  China
  Croatia
  Cyprus
  Czech Republic
  Denmark
  Egypt
  Estonia
  Finland
  France
  Georgia
  Germany
  Ghana
  Greece
  Hungary
  Iceland
  India
  Ireland
  Israel
  Italy
  Japan
  Kazakhstan
  Kenya
  Korea
  Latvia
  Lithuania
  Luxembourg
  Malta
  Montenegro
  Morocco
  Namibia
  Netherlands
  Nigeria
  Norway
  Peru
  Poland
  Portugal
  Romania
  Russia
  Serbia
  Slovakia
  Slovenia
  South Africa
  Spain
  Sweden
  Switzerland
  Taiwan
  Tunisia
  Turkey
  Ukraine
  United Kingdom
  United States


   Success Stories

Last Update: 31-10-2012  
Related category(ies):
Information society  |  Industrial research

 

Countries involved in the project described in the article:
Belgium  |  France  |  Germany  |  Italy  |  Netherlands  |  Spain  |  United States
Add to PDF "basket"

MINOTOR – Launching the age of organic electronics

Organic electronics has potential for use in a number of fields. In order to take full advantage of this new technology, however, scientists need to gain a better understanding of what exactly goes on at the semiconductor interface. This was the objective behind a recent EU-funded project.

© Fotolia, 2012

Organic electronics is a rapidly growing field that relies on the use of organic conjugated materials (rather than inorganic semiconductors like silicon) as active components in devices such as light-emitting diodes, field effect transistors, biochemical sensors, storage devices or solar cells. It is called 'organic' electronics because the polymers and small molecules are carbon-based.

As these devices are usually based on a sandwich-type structure, interfaces between layers of a different chemical nature play a crucial role in the overall working mechanism. Indeed, many key electronic processes - such as charge injection from metallic electrodes, charge recombination into light or light conversion into charges, spin injection, etc. - occur at interfaces.

The EU-supported Minotor project worked on developing a deeper understanding of the electronic processes taking place at these interfaces. This work is important, because understanding what goes on here could significantly increase the number of potential applications for organic electronic devices.

Poor and rich

"To cite just one example, charge separation in organic photovoltaic cells occurs at hetero-junctions between electron-rich and electron-poor materials," explains Dr David Beljonne, one of three project coordinators. "It is therefore of the utmost importance to account for the reshuffling in electronic density at the interfaces, when designing the donor and acceptor materials with appropriate energy-level alignments."

Furthermore, although a reasonable amount of study has been carried out on the characterisation of such interfaces - especially morphological issues – a detailed and unified understanding of the electronic processes occurring at these interfaces has remained elusive.

Discoveries such as this have enabled the international team behind Minotor to identify possible new material combinations with tailored interfacial characteristics. "There are lots of advantages to organic semiconductors," says Dr Jérôme Cornil. "The equipment is less expensive, they are easier to process, and you can even print them."

Strong legacy

The project sought to assess the electronic processes occurring at interfaces through theoretical modelling tools, supported by surface-sensitive characterisation techniques. One major outcome was the development of a multi-scale theoretical approach capable of modelling such interfaces in a highly realistic manner. This enabled the scientists to pull together a more unified view of the electronic phenomena taking place at the interfaces.

Theoretical predictions were then compared to experimental investigations performed in the consortium, thereby allowing direct feedback between theory and experiment.

"The benefit of this project to Europe is twofold," continues Dr Beljonne. "First, the basic knowledge we've accumulated during the project will be a stepping stone in the development of a new generation of material and device architectures with improved efficiencies. Secondly, Minotor has been able to train a young generation of researchers on multi-scale modelling, which we hope and believe will become a ubiquitous toolkit in emerging technologies."

Another major success of Minotor, says Prof. Roberto Lazzaroni, has been the fact the project has facilitated both theoretical and experimental research activities on joint objectives related to interfaces. This, he believes, has led to the publication of some excellent work, and will ensure that the legacy of Minotor will be felt for years to come.

The final workshop, which was organised in Mons, Belgium earlier this year, gave the Minotor consortium the opportunity to show the scientific community just how far our understanding of organic electronic interfaces has come.

Project details

  • Participants: Belgium (Coordinator), Germany, Spain, France, Italy, the Netherlands, United States
  • FP7 Project N° 228424
  • Total costs: € 4 134 595
  • EU contribution: € 3 080 098
  • Duration: June 2009 to May 2012

Convert article(s) to PDF

No article selected


loading


Search articles
To restrict search results to articles in the Information Centre, i.e. this site, use the search box at the top of the page to the right of the menu and then select "Information Centre" in the "Filter by" menu on the results page.

Please note that new content may take a few days to be indexed by the search engine and therefore to appear in the results.

Print Version
Share this article
See also

Project web site

Project information on CORDIS

Contacts
Unit A1 - External & internal communication,
Directorate-General for Research & Innovation,
European Commission
Tel : +32 2 298 45 40
  Top   Research Information Center