Experimental Solid State Physics

James Wilkinson and Christopher Whitehouse together with PhD student Sylvain Damien Gennaro, under supervision of Dr Rupert Oulton completed a first year summer project entitled 'Acoustic metamaterial with soda cans'. During their second year this was published in the American Journal of Physics. It was well-received by the editor and was featured on the cover page of the January 2016 edition.

Stuart Higgins, Francesca Boughey and Russell Hills
Quantitative Analysis and Optimization of Gravure Printed Metal Ink, Dielectric, and Organic Semiconductor Films.
Stuart G. Higgins†, Francesca L. Boughey†, Russell Hills†, Joachim H. G. Steinke‡, Beinn V. O. Muir*†‡, and Alasdair J. Campbell†
(†Department of Physics and Centre for Plastic Electronics and ‡Department of Chemistry, Imperial College London)
ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces, 2015, 7 (9), pp 5045–5050

Here we demonstrate the optimization of gravure printed metal ink, dielectric, and semiconductor formulations. We present a technique for nondestructively imaging printed films using a commercially available flatbed scanner, combined with image analysis to quantify print behavior. Print speed, cliché screen density, nip pressure, the orientation of print structures, and doctor blade extension were found to have a significant impact on the quality of printed films, as characterized by the spreading of printed structures and variation in print homogeneity. Organic semiconductor prints were observed to exhibit multiple periodic modulations, which are correlated to the underlying cell structure.

Sarah-Emily Mutch and Jorge Costas Dantas Faria
A Preliminary Study of Vapour-Phase Polymerized Poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) as a Transparent Neural Electrode.
Alasdair Campbell1, Sarah-Emily Mutch1, Jorge Costas Dantas Faria1, Xuhua Wang1, Donal Bradley1, Nikolay Vaklev1, Nikolai Vysokov2 and Patrick Degenaar2
(1 Department of Physics and the Centre of Plastic Electronics, Imperial College London 2 School of Electrical, Electronic and Computer Engineering, Newcastle University)
IEEE Sensors, 2011, 1575 (2011)

 Abstract—Biomedical electrodes have potential application in a range of different treatments including deep brain stimulation, cochlear implants and spinal chord injury. Electrodes based on conducting polymers will have advantages over conventional inorganic materials in terms of such factors as charge injection per unit surface area, ease of fabrication, flexibility and conformability, and biocompatibility. Here we present initial results for vapour-phase polymerized poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene), a water-insoluble conducting polymer. This polymer look very promising, being biocompatible, and having a lower impedance, a higher surface roughness, and better stability than a conventionally-processed variant.

Cleaven Chia and Daniel Teo

Cleaven Chia and Daniel Teo, along with former PhD student Sheridan Few and supervisor Jenny Nelson carried out simulations of polarisation in fullerenes, an important material for organic photovoltaic devices. The work led to unexpected findings on the importance of molecular packing, and helped to develop material design rules for efficient devices. The work was published in the Royal Society of chemistry’s journal, Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics.