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Department of Physics

The Cavendish Laboratory
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Optoelectronics : Group Website : Staff

Members of the Optoelectronics Group (OE) carry out fundamental physics studies of different aspects of organic semiconductor materials. There is a particular focus upon the physics of semiconducting conjugated polymers which are long-chain organic molecules made from conjugated units such as benzene. They are inherently quantum mechanical objects with nanometer sized dimensions.  

In the late 1980’s, the group discovered that these conjugated polymers behave in many respects like inorganic semiconductors and can be used in a number of semiconducting devices such as field-effect transistors, light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and solar cells. These pioneering discoveries were important milestones for the field of organic electronics, which has now developed into a large international research field with significant academic and industrial activities.

The current main applications of the group's research interests are:

The group has commercialised some of its scientific discoveries through formation of three spin-off companies: Cambridge Display Technology is developing polymer LEDs technology for emissive, full-colour displays, Plastic Logic is using organic transistors to enable flexible paper-like displays, and Eight19 is developing roll-to-roll manufacturing of polymer-based solar cells.