Title and Contact Information
Ph.D., University of Texas Austin, 1991
Habilitation, University of Lodz, 2007
In the News
Development and application of materials with well defined molecular and bulk properties is becoming increasingly important for contemporary technologies. Our research addresses basic and applied problems and concentrates in three major areas of advanced organic materials. We design, synthesize, and characterize materials for optoelectronic applications, nanoscale construction, molecular electronics, and molecular magnetism. The desired electronic effects in organic molecules are engineered using main group elements such as B, Si, N, P, and S. Each project involves extensive computer-aided design of molecular systems, synthesis and study of the new materials, and comparison of the experimental results with theoretical predictions.
One of our group's major strengths is our considerable expertise in organic synthesis and in the properties of liquid crystals. We have also developed a good level of understanding of semi-empirical and ab initio computational methods which allows us to predict molecular properties and also to choose synthetic targets for study.
We are actively developing liquid crystalline materials for applications in flat panel displays. The dielectric anisotropy is related to the distribution of dipole moments within the molecule and is essential for the electrooptical effect in liquid crystal displays in calculators, laptop computers, etc. An electron deficient boron atom and its polar bonds in tetra- and higher-coordinated boron compounds are at the heart of our design. We are exploring boron closo-clusters, such as p-carborane, as novel structural elements of liquid crystalline molecules as shown in Figure 1.We also pursue a novel class of ionic liquid crystals based on the [CB9H10]- inorganic boron cluster.
The centerpiece of our design of potentially magnetic radical liquid crystals is the thioaminyl radical fragment which can be easily incorporated into aromatic rings (e.g. Figure 2) and thus into the rigid cores of a variety of mesogenic molecules. The design is general and, in principle, allows for engineering of almost all types of liquid crystalline phases and the study of electronic and magnetic phenomena in semiordered media. Using these materials, we hope to test the theory that molecular organic magnetism may be achieved through partially oriented fluids.
Nanotechnology and molecular electronics are rapidly growing interdisciplinary fields. However, there is a gap between the designs for nanodevices and available molecular building elements. Our goal is to fill this gap by providing rationally designed molecules, which would serve either as supportive elements, or as active components in molecular assembles. In our lab, we work on challenging ring systems with unique geometries and structures that can be used to make attractive spacers for the construction of a molecular diode, a molecular shift register, or for the study of electron transfer processes in general.