Lead Research Organisation: University of Manchester
Department Name: Chemistry


The inbuilt limitations of current semiconductor-based electronics in terms of speed, scale and mode of operation have inspired much research in the areas of molecular electronics and photonics. Within this broad scientific field, nonlinear optical (NLO) materials are especially interesting. NLO effects allow the manipulation of laser light beams and can therefore be used in electro-optical data processing, and also revolutionary all-optical technologies. We propose to use directed synthetic chemistry to prepare a range of new strongly coloured molecular salts designed to show very large NLO effects. Most of the active molecules in these salts have unusual V-shapes and many contain complexed metal ions (iron or ruthenium) which introduce extra potentially useful features. Adding or removing electrons (and/or protons in some cases) will allow us to reversibly control the optical properties of the dyes we prepare. The project will involve collaborative studies with a number of leading research groups in Europe, Australia and the USA, allowing us to both measure and understand by computer modelling the optical properties. Our work is driven primarily by scientific curiosity, but the long-term goal is to create new materials which may be useful in future optical data processing devices.Keywords describing areas of proposal: Synthetic Chemistry, Coordination Chemistry, Nonlinear Optics