The vision of CEMOs is to position Mississippi as an emerging leader in the rapidly advancing field of optoelectronic materials research, impacting sectors such as energy, photonics, and biomedical technology, through sustained interdisciplinary research and education initiatives that enhance the STEM workforce and stimulate the state's economy.
The mission of the project has been to establish a sustainable statewide interdisciplinary research infrastructure that will enable Mississippi to address fundamental challenges associated with advanced materials, increase the state's competitiveness in optoelectronics research, and drive cross-fertilization of research, education, training, and entrepreneurship to build the STEM workforce.
The Center for Emergent Molecular Optoelectronics (CEMOs) established an interdisciplinary multi-institution materials research program between the four research universities: Jackson State University (JSU), Mississippi State University (MSU), the University of Mississippi (UM), and the University of Southern Mississippi (USM), directed at critical and contemporary optoelectronic and energy challenges in key focus areas of fundamental science and engineering research and education. CEMOs is developing new, unified research methodologies to overcome fundamental limitations of organic semiconductors (OSCs) and address research challenges associated with:
-The integrated development and application of precision synthetic methods and sophisticated theoretical tools that afford insight into complex structure-property-performance relationships,
-Enabling the functionality of photoresponsive OSCs in the infrared (IR), and
-Controlling electronic structure to enable new functions, properties, multifunctional activities, and to discover new phenomena.
Research focus areas within CEMOs work collaboratively to address these contemporary challenges through i) accelerating further progress on grand challenges in the areas of organic and hybrid electronics; ii) leveraging existing state-of-the-art infrastructure and building new, critical infrastructure in the form of instrumentation and tools for advanced materials research; and iii) developing human capital through combining a highly interdisciplinary team of scientists and promoting efforts to grow the STEM pipeline.
OSC research is vital for the advancement of diverse technologies, such as sustainable energy, electronics, and biomedicine, critical to enhancing the competitiveness of existing industries and attracting new companies in the Mississippi Science and Technology (S&T) core priority areas of energy, advanced manufacturing, and health. Collaborations with national labs, universities, and industry will increase access to training and facilities, specialized instrumentation, new techniques, and world-leading expertise. These partnerships and collaborations will advance the research achievements of CEMOs and contribute to its sustainability. Aligned with the Mississippi Science and Technology (S&T) Plan's goal of growing and retaining a qualified STEM workforce, CEMOs workforce development efforts are integrated with the research focus areas and aimed at attracting, developing, and retaining top research talent and engaging a diverse body of K-14 students in STEM. The Center will provide interdisciplinary team training and professional development for faculty, post-doctoral fellows, graduate, and undergraduate student researchers, with specific focus on advancement and retention of new faculty. CEMOs research-based education and outreach activities for K-14 students and teachers will be utilized to help build the pipeline of next-generation STEM students.
Overall, the Center facilitates the development of research capabilities, infrastructure, and educational opportunities in important fields of optoelectronic, energy, and biotechnology research. These capabilities are critical to sustain and advance nationally competitive research programs, support basic and applied research, increase public awareness of STEM career opportunities, and establish and maintain a solid scientific infrastructure in our university system with the potential to translate into new technologies with the potential for job creation.
The advent of ultrashort (fs time scale) tunable laser systems in the early 1990s opened up a new and exciting area of research whereby we are now able to probe fundamental energy and electron transfer processes. In ultrafast transient absorption spectroscopy (TAS), molecules are promoted to an electronically excited state by means of an excitation (or pump) pulse. A probe pulse is then sent through the sample with a delay relative to the pump pulse. A difference absorption spectrum is then calculated (the absorption spectrum of the excited sample minus the absorption spectrum of the sample in the ground state, ΔA). By changing the time delay between the pump and the probe and recording a ΔA spectrum at each time delay, a ΔA profile as a function of time delay and wavelength is obtained. The profile contains information on the dynamic processes that occur in the molecular system in both emissive and dark states and help us design better materials.
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This workshop is supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1757220