Chemistry of Materials

Chemistry of materials is a relatively new field at the ICPF, where we study materials originating primarily from our fundamental research in chemical sciences. Our materials find applications in fields such as organic electronics, photovoltaics, and biomedicine. We work with a number of universities and industry partners in these fields.

Study in the field of inorganic materials at the ICPF takes place almost exclusively in the Research Group of Laser Chemistry, which focuses on the preparation of thin films and nanostructured materials by an array of deposition techniques. The group is well equipped with vacuum equipment for the deposition of new materials, but also with instrumental technology for the characterization of the prepared materials. Through laser ablation, radiofrequency deposition, or chemical deposition from the gas phase, we prepare nanostructured materials based on silicon and germanium for photovoltaic applications and oxides, suboxides, oxy-carbides, and oxynitrides for photocatalytic and photoelectrochemical applications. Characterization of materials is done by an array of spectroscopic techniques such as IR, UV-Vis, Raman, photoelectronic, and EDX spectroscopy or with scanning electron microscopy. Crystalline samples are analyzed by powder diffractometry, while gaseous and liquid samples are analyzed by gas chromatography and mass spectrometry.

Study in the field of new organic materials at the ICPF takes place in two research groups. Materials based on carbosilane structures such as dendrimers, dendrons, and amphiphiles are prepared for use in biomedical applications in the Research Group of Bioorganic Chemistry and Biomaterials. Phosphonium dendrimers are capable of forming complexes with therapeutic sequences of nucleic acids and demonstrate both lower toxicity and more effective transfection into cells. Polycyclic aromatic compounds suitable for the construction of organic electronic components are synthesized in the Research Group of Advanced Materials and Organic Synthesis. Compounds prepared on the basis of helicenes and phenacenes, derived from the structure of 2D graphene, demonstrate semiconducting characteristics. Thin films prepared from such materials can then be used for the construction of OFET or OLED devices or, with electropolymerization, for the preparation of a permselective sensor layer directly on the electrode.

Study in the field of composite materials at the ICPF takes place in the Research Group of Bioorganic Chemistry and Biomaterials. Prepared materials are designed primarily for capturing gases such as CO2 or for effective gas separation. Adsorbents derived from layered silicates and porous polymers are tested for these purposes. These matrices are then modified by hyperbranched synthetic macromolecules – dendrimers. These molecules have significant internal volume and a large number of functional groups on the surface. These properties increase the adsorption capacity and selectivity of the new material.